An increase in the provision of public transport in rural areas has been proposed by Social Justice Ireland.
Research by the independent think tank found “a huge deficit” in public transport provision in rural Ireland, with 74% of all journeys taken in 2019 by private car.
Public transport that year accounted for 4.8% of all journeys, reports RTE.
Social Justice Ireland’s ‘Public Services’ policy brief says making healthcare, housing, public transport, childcare and education more affordable, would benefit everyone.
It has suggested an increase in the provision of public transport in rural areas and called for a greater investment in sustainable transport, biofuels and in “hard infrastructure” for cycle lanes.
It has also proposed an expanded public sector to provide increased public services to address cost of living increases.
Researchers found that people’s capacity to cope with financial crises was declining.
In 2018, almost four in 10 people reported being unable to face an unexpected financial expense.
The pandemic, it found, exacerbated this, with many who found it hard to manage household expenses before finding it even harder.
It also examined Internet connectivity in 2020, which stood at 92% – an increase of one percentage point from 2019.
It noted that almost every household with children is connected to the internet, compared to 79% of adult only households.
It said connectivity to affordable high speed broadband access nationwide should be a policy priority.