THE National Transport Authority (NTA) have extended the existing contract with Clare Accessible Transport (CTA) until the end of June.
The announcement comes after CTA lost the contract for the county’s transport co-ordination which manages the booking and planning backup for Clare Bus.
The decision to transfer the co-ordination of transport services to Limerick Local Link which is based in Newcastle West was met with widespread anger across the county, with many fearing a significant long-term downgrading of bus services.
In a statement to The Clare People, the NTA have confirmed that in order to plan for the orderly transition of management services from Clare to Limerick it has decided to delay the contract transfer until Sunday, June 30.
The NTA have also reassured Clare Bus customers that there will be “no reduction/change in existing transport services provided by CAT”.
“Clare Accessible Transport will continue to provide transport services from its base in Feakle,” read the statement.
“The NTA is very supportive of future proposals from Local Link Limerick that may result in additional Local Link services for Clare and looks forward to the further enhancement of rural transport services generally throughout County Clare”.
Despite this, Clare-based TD, Dr Michael Harty (IND) has raised his concerns over the future of the rural transport service.
“The transfer of the co-ordination unit to Limerick will reduce the quality of the service as it was a bespoke service that operated six days per week,” he said
“A person could book transport one hour in advance and the system was very flexible, allowing buses to go to people’s homes to pick them up,” added Dr Harty.