VFI member, Thomas Treacy from Treacy’s Bar & Restaurant, Portlaoise has received an award and special recognition from the Road Safety Authority for his transport service.

Treacy’s Bar & Restaurant, which is located approximately 5km from Portlaoise, is in an area with no public transport. Publican Thomas Treacy told TheJournal.ie that they’ve always been focused on making sure their customers are safe. Nine years ago to offer a lift home to customers.

Treacy’s provide a free taxi service to all their customers within a 12kms range. Generally they only drop people home, but will sometimes pick up families and large groups who need a lift out too. Their eight-seat mini bus is PSV licensed and insured, and the Road Safety Authority acknowledged this service by saying: “It has undoubtedly stopped drink driving and in turn may save lives.”

Thomas Treacy receiving his award from RSA Chairperson Liz O’Donnell

Thomas came up with the idea for the van himself, after realising people had problems getting home. He said; “We are 10km from Portlaoise and taxis won’t come out of Portlaoise, if they go out 10km to pick up a guy and bring him 3km up a road, it doesn’t pay for them, and I understand that.”

He believes that Transport Minister Shane Ross could help other pubs introduce such a feature. Thomas said: “To have insurance on the van, you have to have a hackney licence. There is no charge for the van, and it is treated as a benefit in kind for customers. But the insurance costs €3,000″. He also believes Minster Ross should also help on insurance relief for publicans: “I think Mr Ross will have to do a lot of work to help rural publicans especially with the VRT on their vehicle, and should be given relief on their insurance.”

To read the full article from Journal.ie click HERE