The rural transport scheme should be extended to all areas of County Roscommon, according to Mayor John Kelly, who this week paid tribute to Tumna Shannon Development Co. Limited for securing more funding to bring about an extension to the rural transport scheme for the Ballaghaderreen Area. The new night-time bus service may come into operation in Ballaghaderreen before the end of August. Independent Cllr. John Kelly told The Roscommon People on Wednesday that it will be a great boost to people living outside the town, people who would have been severely impacted by the tightening up in the drink-driving laws in the past year and the effect that it was having on rural people living in remote areas. It’s thought that the bus service will operate on at least three routes into Ballaghaderreen every night, commencing at 8.30 pm. Cllr. Kelly explains: ‘The routes have to be worked out yet but the idea is that the first people would be collected at about 8.30 pm and that others would then be collected after that. The return journeys would finish then at approximatey 11.30 pm. There would be no charge for those with travel passes while all others would have to pay €5, which is a very modest fee. ‘This came about after the furore over rural isolation and I have been very vocal on this so I am happy that this measure is being introduced. I can’t see why it won’t be a major success.’ There is also good news for the area rural transport scheme according to Cllr. Kelly. ‘The local rural transport scheme will be moving from one day to two in September, due to its huge success. The Tumna Shannon Development Company have done great work with rural transport in this area and they deserve great credit for what they have achieved’ said Cllr. Kelly. Details for the night-time bus service will be made known over the next few weeks. Cllr. Kelly added: ‘More funding is urgently needed to extend this scheme to all areas of Co. Roscommon to address the rural isolation problems that presently exist. Due to new drink driving legislation, people who are isolated in rural Ireland are now striving hard to uphold the law. Therefore, it is now vitally important that we move quickly to introduce a night-time bus service for rural areas to alleviate the problems the new laws have caused,’ he concluded.