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Doherty calls on commuters to support Car Free Day

21 September, 2007

Speaking this evening, on the eve of Car Free Day, Sinn Féin Transport Spokesperson Pearse Doherty called on commuters to support the initiative and leave their cars at home for the day. Senator Doherty called for the number of Car Free Days to be increased but said substantial investment in public transport is needed if they are to be a success.

The Sinn Féin Senator said, "The Car Free Day initiative is a progressive one that encourages commuters to leave their cars at home and opt for more sustainable forms of transport from public buses, rail and cycling. I would call on all commuters to support this year's initiative and for an increase in the number of Car Free Days per year.

"The current level of car ownership growth and usage is unsustainable. Dublin is an extreme example of a car-dependent city, and Government under-funding of public transport and corrupt planning have facilitated this situation to come about.

"Unfortunately last year's Car Free Day was largely ignored by drivers as most of them do not see public transport as a viable alternative option. In conjunction with an increase in Car Free Days there must be substantial investment in our already creaking public transport system. Dublin needs more buses, a comprehensive and safe cycle network and integrated transport to offer viable alternative to drivers. Each day our capital city grinds to a halt due to the volume of private vehicles on our roads, severely affecting the quality of life and stress levels of commuters.

"Sinn Féin's transport proposals could radically alter the current situation and improve the life of each and every commuter. We propose a substantial investment in Bus Átha Cliath and the purchase of an extra 500 buses to improve access to all major areas and reduce waiting times; integrated transport between bus, rail and luas; increased state subsidy to make public transport cheaper and affordable and a comprehensive cycle network. The current level of traffic pollution and car usage is environmentally unsustainable.

"With a substantial improvement in our public transport system Car Free Days should be increased to improve the quality of commuting for all."


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