Tipperary councillor Fiona Bonfield has called for an immediate cut to public transport fares
Tipperary Labour Party councillor Fiona Bonfield has called for lower public transport fares to be brought immediately to help tackle the cost of living and support people to get back on public transport.
The Government announced a cut in public transport fares earlier this month to help curb some of the worst excesses of the increase in the cost of living.
However, Cllr Bonfield pointed out that the 20% cut to public transport fares won’t come in until May.
“People are already struggling with the high cost of living, and as Covid restrictions are lifted, now is the time to encourage people back onto the bus and train,” she said.
The Newport councillor said that there had been lots of commitments from the Government to support public transport, but they all seemed to be on the long finger.
“The Budget promised half-price fares for young people aged between 19 and 23 but we still have no idea when this will become a reality.
“All we’ve been told is mid-2022,” she pointed out.
Cllr Bonfield said that her party had revealed this week that there were no plans yet in place to ensure the half-price fares applied to all commercial operators who provide a lot of services outside of the main towns and cities.
“Once again, rural areas are being left behind. When this was announced in the October Budget we were told it would apply to the national transport network,” she said.
With more people availing of flexible working arrangements after the pandemic, there was a need also to update the annual TaxSaver ticket to make it more flexible.
“For commuters this is a major concern. Ensuring people make greater use of public transport is central to meeting our carbon targets,” she said.
Cllr Bonfield also pointed out that transport affordability and access remained a huge issue for students and young workers.
“We need action, not words, from this Government,” she said.
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