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Sligo Leader

 

IFI International Fund for Ireland

Rural Transport

CLASP Sligo Community Transport:

Through the Quality of Life project, CLASP identified one of the main barriers to achieving a good quality of life for many community members is the lack of transport available to those without access to a car.  Rural Transport Programme (RTP) began as the Rural Transport Initiative in 2002. It is funded by the Department of Transport (DoT), and man­aged by POBAL, a social inclusion and equality programme. The programme has overseen the development of 34 local projects, throughout the country, providing transport services for rural areas. These projects have been formed either by existing local devel­opment organisations or through the formation of new groups.

 CLASP Sligo Rural Transport

The overall aim of the RTP has been “to encour­age innovative community-based initiatives to provide transport services in rural areas, with a view to addressing the issue of social exclusion in rural Ireland, which is caused by lack of access to transport”.

 

CLASP Sligo keash Bus Service

CLASP in 2003 was successful in being selected as one of the 34 original projects and was the first in the country to be approved under a community voluntary car driver scheme that involved voluntary drivers from the area using their own cars to transport older people. Over the last two years CLASP has been successful on two fronts in raising and attracting funding into the project totalling over €120,000 and now has two fully accessible minibuses that operates a number of routes in the East Sligo Area.

The new transport project enables CLASP to reach very isolated people and has provided for them a demand responsive service that meets their needs for transport to shops, community and social events, collection of pensions and health care appointments. The model is now being incorporated into other projects that serve isolated rural communities.

 

Achievements

  • 72,000 passengers carried
  • 41,000 journeys made
  • 450,000 total miles covered
  • 400 registered members/ users
  • Two project-owned minibuses operating
  • One accessible people carrier
  • Six scheduled bus routes operating weekly
  • 14 voluntary car drivers
  • Selected nationally for a number of pilot studies
  • Three qualified voluntary minibus drivers
  • One Transport Coordinator employed
  • Service extended to external areas not served by public or rural transport services.

 

Rural Transport Figures

 

Passenger Analysis 2011

 

Total Male F/Male F/Pass Over 65 16-25 16-25 26-65
22948 7642 15306 18636 20914 1060 974 163

 

 

Breakdown of Client Journey 2011

Total Doctor Hospital Shopping Social Assistant Training
22948 3225 3437 7284 7888 176 938

Current Services

Conducting 8,000 journeys a year, the CLASP RTI project serves the needs of area residents using both scheduled and unscheduled bus and voluntary car services. Originally a solely car-based service, the recent addition of minibuses has enabled the development of six scheduled bus routes operating on a weekly basis, as shown in the following timetable.

CLASP Bus Timetable

Route

Day

Arrives

Departs

CLASP region to SligoTown Thursday 11.00am 2.30pm
CLASP region to Ballaghaderren Friday 12.00am 2.30pm
Gleann to Gleann Community Centre Monday 1.00pm 4.00pm
Ballinafad area to Ballinafad Tuesday 1.00pm 4.00pm
Keash area to Keash Hall Wednesday 1.00pm 4.00pm
Geevagh to Geevagh Sports Centre Thursday 1.30pm 4.30pm

 

These routes provide the project with regular, scheduled, services which are augmented by the addition of on-demand car and bus transport services. Used primarily by older residents of the area to access urban areas, local services and Active Age clubs, these scheduled CLASP services are open to any member wishing to travel within the area serviced at the time given.

 

For more information and details contact:
Liam Dennedy on 071 91 65708 or by e-mail at clasptransport@eircom.net

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