Ban­don gets new pilot shut­tle bus service

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Áilín Quin­lan

A pilot shut­tle bus service has been in­tro­duced to Ban­don by a group to de­ter­mine the level of need for trans­port among older peo­ple in the town.

Or­gan­ised by Age Friendly Ban­don, the service be­came op­er­a­tional in re­cent weeks.

“We are in­tro­duc­ing the service so we can prove the ab­so­lute need for this service within our town,” said spokes­woman Carol Crean. A num­ber of stud­ies and in­ter­views with older per­sons had high­lighted prob­lems like lack of ac­ces­si­bil­ity, in­clu­sion, iso­la­tion, lone­li­ness and qual­ity of life as some of the more sig­nif­i­cant is­sues af­fect­ing older peo­ple.

When Age Friendly Ban­don was set up in June to look at is­sues af­fect­ing older per­sons, the group felt the Shut­tle Bus could ad­dress a lot of th­ese prob­lems. The Age Friendly Com­mit­tee high­lighted sev- eral other is­sues in­clud­ing dis­abled park­ing, park­ing in gen­eral, foot­path con­di­tions and public toi­let is­sues to lo­cal County Coun­cil of­fi­cials at a re­cent meet­ing and the group is work­ing on short, medium and long term plans for im- prove­ment. Mary O’Brien, chair­per­son of the group, said the lack of a foot­bridge had posed se­ri­ous prob­lems for peo­ple on Ban­don’s north­side.

Poor foot­path sur­faces and ob­sta­cles like bins and poor car park­ing prac­tices on North Main Street also made walk­ing more dif­fi­cult. The sur­vey in­di­cated that peo­ple from other parts of the town also felt that one of the things that would im­prove their qual­ity of life would be ac­cess to a shut­tle bus service.

“Our com­mit­tee will be work­ing with all groups to ad­vo­cate Age Friend­li­ness in Ban­don and on this project we felt the best way to show need was to ac­tu­ally roll out the project,” she ex­plained.

The service will be avail­able Tues­day, Thurs­day and Fri­day weekly. Timeta­bles are avail­able at The Post Of­fice, at St Michael’s Cen­tre and at all phar­ma­cies in the town. The cost of the re­turn shut­tle will be sub­sidised to €3 while a jour­ney will cost €2 one way.

The older peo­ple of Ban­don are be­ing urged “to get be­hind the scheme” and use the service as the us­age of the service will high­light the need for a per­ma­nent service of this kind in the town, said Ms Crean.

De­tails avail­able from Mur­phy Cabs on 023 8844444 from St Michael’s Cen­tre and from Age Friendly Ban­don by email­ing age­friendly­ban­don@gmail.com or Face­book: Age Friendly Ban­don.

Picture: De­nis Boyle

At the launch of the new Age friendly Ban­don Shut­tle bus service were com­mit­tee mem­bers Jimmy Shee­han, Rita Car­ney, St Michael’s Cen­tre, Pat Fitzger­ald, Carol Crean PRO Age Friendly Ban­don, Eric Mur­phy of Mur­phy Cabs, and Pauline Crow­ley.

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