Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan met with the Community Transport Association this week to discuss key issues affecting the service.
The party’s Infrastructure spokesperson said:
“Most community transport organisations operate under a permit that exempts them from requiring a specific operator’s licence. This applies where the service benefits the community on a non-profit basis.
“Schools, sports clubs, religious and community groups benefit from this exemption.
“I welcomed a court judgement in England last month where challenges to the exemption for community transport organisations failed.
“If this court case was successful it would have jeopardised community transport groups that depend on a commitment of volunteers to deliver important transport services.
“Rural community transport in the north currently provide over 200,000 trips a year to elderly people, disabled people and the most isolated and vulnerable communities across the north. It is a vital service for rural areas
“What’s needed in the north is clear guidance for drivers operating on a non-profit basis, to protect them from court challenges as seen in England last month.”