Macra na Feirme launched its ‘future of work and rural transport’ policy documents on Thursday, aimed at improving the quality of life for those working and living in rural Ireland.

The document focuses on broadband, working hubs and work-life balance.

“Workers will shortly travel back to their places of work, and the internet connection issues which we have all tolerated will become less acceptable.

“The delivery of these objectives will greatly aid in the development and the revitalisation of rural communities,” Macra president John Keane said.

“It is essential to target this cohort of the population to embed practices earlier on in life and overcome the current reliance on private car use.

“In order for this to be successful, we need significant investment into rural train and bus networks.”

Free travel

The rural transport document focuses on reducing the dependence on private car use and investment into the bus and train infrastructure.

Macra na Feirme calls for the provision of free travel for under 25s on all public transport.

In a recent survey, 64% of Macra na Feirme members surveyed said that they were likely or very likely to use public transport if it was available in their area, while 60% of members either agreed or strongly agreed that access to public transport impacted their ability to engage in social activities.

“Digital hubs can provide better broadband coverage, reduce isolation and reinforces the links to the community.

“Significant investment and supports are necessary for a nationwide digital hub footprint,” chair of the rural youth committee Sarah Kelly said.