North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that the Regional Development Minister should have taken into consideration the impact that transport cuts have on rural communities and those with disabilities when budgeting for the year ahead.
“I have spoken with numerous members of the public who are having to deal with the consequences of a withdrawal of rural transport services. They have in effect been cut off and are surprised at the extent of the cutbacks.
“It is quite clear that the department has not taken into consideration how rural cutbacks differ from cutbacks to urban services. We already have a very limited number of routes for public transport between our local villages and towns so North Antrim is starting off from a low baseline compared to other areas, something that I do not believe has been taken into account here.
“I have met with North Coast Community Transport. It is clear to me that this is a service worth protecting and there is an onus to the Minister to review his funding allocation and it should take into account rural proofing.”