LOUTHLINX the rural transport service has, since it started in 2008, been one of the success stories of the past few years: some might say the only success story.
But like everything else now, it is facing danger.
There are talks of changing the management structure from a local base to a regional one.
But it is the local management that knows the people, the bus operators, the shopping centre retailers and management.
If we take away the local angle we will lose a great deal of what this transport programme is all about.
One woman got on a bus one morning and said she couldn’t sleep at night because some slates had blown off her roof.
She had the money to have it fixed but didn’t know who she could trust.
Another woman turned round and said her son was a tiler. He would fix it. And what’s more he’d do it for nothing or she’d kill him.
This is a transport service that’s really about people.
It costs little or nothing to run.
At a time when more and more people are getting lonely and depressed is it not time that we called halt and said: this country is not just about balancing the books.
It’s about people.
Without our people we are not a country at all.
There are only five million of us. We are one of the smallest nations on earth.
There will be fewer of us if we don’t look after each other.