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Doherty calls on commuters to support Car Free Day

22 September, 2007

Speaking this morning, on 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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