FCT determined to stay on the road despite cuts


IT’S been a busy year for Fermanagh Community Transport (FCT), their  
army of volunteers and the many, many locals who rely on the lifeline  
The vital service, which is used by thousands of locals in rural  
areas, has been busier than ever thanks to the hard work of staff and  
volunteers, despite operating on an ever-decreasing budget, which has  
been slashed by 33 per-cent, from over £575,000 to little more than  
£350,000 in just three years.
There are increasing challenges ahead for the service, such as  
Assembly plans to overhaul the community transport system into a more  
commercial model, and with the threat of further cuts to come.
However, the dedicated staff at FCT have vowed to fight any further  
cuts or changes tooth and nail to secure the service on which so many  
rely across the county.
“In 2017 we’re looking forward to continued lobbying to government for  
additional support for our services and we are keen to see support  
from Department for Health to enable us to provide a better service  
for those who need access to health related appointments,” said FCT  
manager Anita Flanagan.
Deputy manager Martina McGuinness urged everyone to give the service  
their support: “The local community must ensure that they continue to  
use FCT and lobby all local councillors and MLAs to ensure that they  
are made aware of the need of FCT within the rural areas of Fermanagh.”
According to figures collated by, who last recently  
published an extensive report on the vital role community transport  
services including FCT play in the lives of many living in rural  
areas, last year FCT undertook over 25,000 journeys throughout the  
county, clocking up almost 300,000 miles.
Over 3,000 of these trips were to medical appointments, over 6,000  
were to educational, training or employment appointments, over 10,000  
were made by elderly users and over 11,000 of these trips were made by  
disabled users.
Despite the budget constraints, it’s been a very successful year for  
FCT, with highlights including their annual volunteer awards at the  
Lough Erne Resort in July, filming for Irish TV in September, and the  
continued success of their Sunday Lunch club.
Overall, Ms Flanagan said the ultimate highlight was hearing from the  
service users how much they enjoy using the service and the benefits  
they get from it.

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