Helping people to stay at home became the new role of Local Link Mayo rural transport services, following the outbreak of coronavirus in Ireland. In response to Covid-19, Local Link Mayo quickly commenced offering a collect and deliver service from pharmacies and local shops for passengers, delivering critical medical supplies and meals to the elderly, the vulnerable and sick within rural areas throughout the county.
Funded by the National Transport Authority (NTA ) and the HSE, Local Link Mayo is working with Mayo County Council Community Response Team, An Garda Síochána Community Policing, state agencies and voluntary groups to ensure the elderly and vulnerable members of the community can avail of a trusted and coordinated transport services the can rely on.
A special programme featuring highlights from the community response in Mayo will be broadcast on Henry McGlade’s iMayo TV on Sky TV channel 192 on, Thursday, June 4 at 7pm and there will be a repeat on Saturday, June 6 at 8pm. The programme will demonstrate the tremendous community collaboration in the Covid-19 response in Mayo and will feature efforts in Killala, Killasser, Westport, Louisburgh and Achill Island, with interviews of passengers, bus drivers, community representatives and members of the business sector supporting the response.
Sarah Togher, Local Link Mayo Manager, said: "The programme represents how the Local Link service was able to support local communities to assist those cocooning and self-isolating to stay home and to reduce the spread of the virus. The response has been fantastic and there is a huge voluntary commitment to ensure that people get the support they need to stay safe at this critical time.
"As social distancing measures significantly reduce public transport capacity, the NTA are encouraging those who need to travel on public transport to only do so if their journey is essential and to consider cycling or walking to their destination as an alternative where feasible. If public transport is the only option, people should follow public health guidance when travelling.
"Over the course of the COVID-19 crisis, the NTA has worked closely with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and transport operators, to continue to provide public transport services for essential trips. In doing so, we continued to follow the guidance from the Department of Health in order to mitigate risk of infection to staff, passengers and for beneficiaries of the goods delivery service.
"In Phase One of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business from Monday May 18th, public transport will continue to operate revised timetables to match demand for public transport while maintaining social distancing, as remote working is to continue for all workers or businesses that can currently do so.
"In line with government recommendations as part of Phase One, the NTA advises all passengers to wear face coverings when on busy public transportation. Enhanced daily cleaning will continue to be undertaken, which includes the daily sanitising of frequently-touched surfaces on board all vehicles.
"Local Link Mayo has already implemented social distancing measures on all transport and these measures will be kept in place. Any anticipated increase in passenger numbers will be closely monitored and capacity will be added where required.
"If you would like to travel on a Local Link Mayo service, please pre book as places are limited to meet social distancing guidelines. For bookings Telephone (094 ) 900 5150 or email [email protected] for Covid route information visit https://locallinkmayo.ie/covid-19/
"Local Link Mayo continues to follow public health advice as it is issued. Any public transport actions will be guided by the National Public Health Emergency Team and the advice of the Chief Medical Officer."