‘Connecting Ireland’ Public Transport Plan for Waterford – Have Your Say

‘Connecting Ireland’ Public Transport Plan for Waterford – Have Your Say

Green Party TD Marc Ó Cathasaigh encourages people to have their say on the Connecting Ireland plan which was published for public consultation today. The plan will see over 100 rural villages served by public transport, proposing an overall increase of approximately 25% in rural bus services will bring viable public transport options to towns and villages throughout Waterford. Connecting Ireland has been developed by the NTA with the aim of increasing public transport connectivity, particularly for people living outside our major cities and towns and was launched today by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD. It is now open for consultation and members of the public are invited to give their views on the proposed routes.

Speaking after the announcement, Deputy Ó Cathasaigh said: “This is the single biggest investment in rural public transport in the history of the state. Waterford people now have the opportunity to have your say on the routes proposed by this plan which will have a significant impact on our rural communities. Enhancing public transport options for our rural towns and villages is a cornerstone of Green Party Policy which will help address rural isolation, contribute to our climate targets and help revitalise our towns and villages. It is a key programme for government commitment which will significantly increase the frequency of existing services but will also increase the number of routes throughout Waterford. Rural towns and villages which have been neglected by previous transport options will now be served by good quality public transport in rural Ireland.”

“This plan is the first step towards improved connectivity between our rural towns and villages and our regional cities. It will mean that more than 70% of those living outside of cities will have access to a public transport service that provides at least three return trips each weekday to a nearby town. The heart has left many parts of rural Ireland over the last couple of decades but this plan will help bring the life back as residents will now have more access to their towns in their locality. I would encourage everyone to go to nationaltransport.ie, read the details about what Connecting Ireland means for your part of Waterford and give us your feedback so that the service, when launched, can best meet the needs of the people it will serve.”

Proposed Waterford routes include new bus routes from Lismore to Youghal, and Dungarvan to Clonmel. The Passage East Ferry will also be used on routes from Waterford City to Kilkenny and Wexford. Improved inter-urban services serving Waterford-Dungarvan-Cork, Waterford-Limerick, Waterford-Wexford, Dungarvan-Lismore-Tallow-Fermoy-Mallow are also included in the plan.

Deputy Ó Cathasaigh added: “The Local Link network is already active and very successful throughout the county and this plan will build on that success bringing services to 100 new towns and villages throughout the country, increasing access to rural public transport from 53% of the population to 70% . Most people living in rural Ireland need to drive to access services, go to work, school or go shopping and large numbers of people in rural Ireland don’t have access to a car. This new plan will give them options they don’t have at the moment. It will give people a choice and it will help reduce car dependency.”

Commenting on today’s announcement, Lynne Glasscoe, the Green Party representative in Lismore said: “With the announcement today of the New Ireland Connecting Plan, Lismore and West Waterford will no longer be marooned as far as wider public transport options are concerned. Links with neighbouring towns in County Waterford and County Cork will help people access services locally and also help enhance travel options and links to national transport services. A boon for communities living in small towns.”

Críostóir Ó Faoláin, Green Party representative in Dungarvan added: “I often hear it said that there is no public transport in rural Ireland. This used to be the case, but things are changing. The Green Party has brought a new focus on public transport in government, and we are developing a nationwide public transport network, not only for cities and large towns, but for villages across the country. The Connecting Ireland plan will be a game changer for West Waterford. Dungarvan will have better connections with Cork and Waterford, while a proposed new bus service between Dungarvan and Clonmel will fill in what has been a key missing link in the network. The plan is also good news for places like Clashmore, Aglish and Villierstown, which will be connected to the public transport network for the first time.”

More Information on Connecting Ireland

Maps, proposed schedules and further information on the consultation are available here: https://www.nationaltransport.ie/connecting-ireland/

Specific Waterford route proposals are available here:

Connecting Ireland proposes to expand the public transport network in rural areas and to increase service levels. As a result:

  • 70% of people in rural Ireland will have access to public transport service that provides at least three return trips daily to the nearby town. (This compares to the current figure of 53%.)
  • Over 100 rural villages will benefit from frequent public transport service (at least three return trips daily) for the first time
  • Over 100 rural areas will benefit from a regular service, at least three return trips daily to their county town for the first time
  • There will be over 60 new connections to regional cities from surrounding areas.
  • Improved mobility options for those in remote areas with the provision of Demand Responsive and other innovative transport services


Currently about 90 million service vehicle kilometres are provided annually, serving rural communities and subsidised by the NTA, including both local and inter-regional services. Connecting Ireland proposes an additional 22.8 million annual vehicle kilometres, representing an approximate 25% increase in service levels compared to today.

When it comes to local services such as those currently provided by TFI Local Link, the proposed increase is even more significant. Currently, 6 million vehicle kilometres are provided annually across the country by TFI Local Link, and this is set to increase to 18.3 million under Connecting Ireland plans, an increase of some 200%.         


In producing this plan, the NTA has completed a comprehensive assessment of the existing network of regular public transport services operating across the country. This gives us a better understanding of where improvements are needed. The issues we have identified include:

  • Gaps in the network, which mean that two in five villages are not connected to their nearby big town
  • Inconsistency of connectivity between different parts of the country
  • The need to ensure that public transport caters for a range of functions and is not  just for commuting to work or education
  • Better integrating timetables to make public transport more useful and connections between different public transport options easier

The plan aims to improve mobility in rural areas, and it will do this by providing better bus connections between villages and towns by linking these areas with an enhanced regional network connecting cities and regional centres nationwide.