Rural Ireland is being left behind.
I live in north county Meath (about an hour’s drive to DCU). It takes me just under three hours to get to DCU via public transport. Luckily, I got ahead of the chase and have accommodation! Many students are not that fortunate.
Students who have not received accommodation but are living in the countryside endure huge journeys each day. “I think it’s humiliating for the government as they only put money into effective transport systems in the capital because it would entice more people to move there. It’s so frustrating because it’s the like of rural towns that need transport links… and they’re just non-existent” said DCU student Aoife McNulty, who has a 2-hour commute each way every day.
Sinn Fein TD, Michael Gallagher also from north county Meath describes the rural public transport as “very disappointing.” “There has been no new route created by bus Eireann this year, there needs to be more of an investment in rural public transport.” He gives an example that there is no bus service from Dublin to Mullingar, even though it is a national route.
He gave another example of the bus route from Cavan to DCU being stopped for no reason. There have been inquiries to restore this mode of transport, but why was it ever stopped in the first place when so many people rely on it?
Minister for transport, Eamonn Ryan announced that this year €63.5 million was to be spent on greenways, meanwhile, only €4 million was to be spent on public transport. I understand that this is to create a greener living environment, but it seems unfair that money is not being invested into public transport in rural areas.
I do also believe that more investment in travel from rural to urban areas would in the long run reduce carbon footprint. Few people would have to rely on cars. It could help with the housing crisis too, considering many people leave rural Ireland, as the travel to work in cities and towns is too difficult. With more of these people traveling to and from work every day, housing prices would reduce in cost.
I feel as if rural Ireland is being left behind… It is constantly being made to look more appealing in urban Ireland. From job opportunities to broadband to transport. It is upsetting to see rural Ireland being left behind.
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