Senator Thomas Byrne has contacted the National Transport Authority to make sure that the 109 bus will be able to serve Kells Primary Health Care centre.

Senator Byrne has subsequently learned, after the NTA wrote to him in the issue that the HSE has been in touch with the National Transport Authority about the issue and that the NTA has begun to engage with Bus Eireann and Meath County Council about the need for a bus stop at the new Clinic.

“The new Health Centre, which is not yet open, is situated a considerable distance outside of the town of Kells, but fortunately is directly on the bus route of the main 109 service” said Senator Byrne.

Senator Byrne fought for the construction of the Primary Health Care Centre in a number of Seanad debates when it appeared that the Government was about to shelve the project.  In correspondence with Senator Byrne, the HSE has confirmed that the following range of services will be provided when it opens; Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy, Public Health Nursing, Psychology Services, GP Services, Palliative Care & Podiatry Services.

“Clearly, if Kells residents were able to use the 109 bus service to safely access the health centre, this would not only make the centre more accessible, particularly for elderly people, but would also chime in with the national objectives of more sustainable transport.

“While, it doesn’t require a great leap of the imagination to assume the 109 might stop at the new health centre, ensuring that access is safe by providing lit and accessible bus shelters will need a funding commitment from Government and I will be seeking that.

In its letter to Senator Byrne, the NTA confirmed that the funding for the works will have to be clarified.  They confirmed to Senator Byrne that there may be a requirement for infrastructure and installation works.  The NTA also confirmed that Meath County Council will also have to give permission for setting down and picking up of passengers at the specified points.