A NEW public transport system which would serve the county town of Ennis could be created within the next 20 years.
At a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, Clare County Council revealed that such plans are being looked at as part of the Ennis 2040 economic development strategy.
The scheme, which would see the creation of an Ennis specific bus service, was disclosed after concerns were raised over the number of elderly and less mobile people living on the outskirts of the county town.
Making reference to Clare County Council housing schemes on the Shanaway Road in Ennis, local councilor, Ann Norton (IND) made calls to “provide appropriate transport for these people to access facilities and services”.
Cllr Norton urged the local authority to “look at putting people in the town” when housing those with no transport means and those who are less mobile.
“We provide quality housing and services to enable people to create homes and thriving communities.
“We have a number of people that are being housed outside Ennis who are finding it difficult to access amenities.
“It is putting pressure on people trying to access the likes of pharmacies, doctors, hospitals, and other vital facilities,” she added.
Backing the motion, Ennis-based councilor, Johnny Flynn (FG) voiced his worry over the lack of connectivity in his hometown.
Cllr Flynn claimed that towns of similar size throughout the country have adequate public transport systems and that the ever-growing Ennis needs to step up to the plate.
“For a town the size of Ennis, the lack of public transport is unacceptable,” he said.
In response, Carmel Kirby, director of physical development with Clare County Council, said, “We will have a public transport system in Ennis”.
“We are looking at it as part of Ennis 2040,” she revealed.
In an official response to Cllr Norton’s request, Clare County Council said that “as a housing authority we do not provide transportation services for tenants”.
Concerns were also raised over the ongoing practice of outsourcing housing functions to organisations such as Clúid, which the local authority said is required to meet the high demand for housing.
“To meet housing need this council is delivering social housing both directly and in conjunction with Approved Housing Bodies,” the council stated.