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Sinn Féin question government competency to deliver Transport 21 - Ó Snodaigh

14 November, 2007

Speaking during a Dáil debate on Transport 21 Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh questioned government competency to deliver the ambitious project.


Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:


“Last week it was revealed that the majority of projects under Transport 21 will not make their completion deadlines. Government transport policy by and large remains focused on an over-emphasis on road construction for private cars needs to be reversed with public transport taking centre stage.


“Despite over a decade of unprecedented economic growth we have the reality of a transport ‘system’, and I use those words lightly, that is creaking under pressure.


“When compared to other European cities, Dublin’s transport system is pathetic. This government, obsessed with privatisation, fail to acknowledge the publicly-run transport systems of Paris and Zurich which are incredibly efficient with their well run metro systems.


“In Budapest people can purchase a single ticket to use on the high-speed metro, trams and buses, a fine example of ticket integration. Fully integrated ticketing is a core element of any efficient and effective public transport system and must be introduced immediately.


“There must also be a substantial increase in the capacity of the bus network as major rail investment under Transport 21 will not provide additional capacity until after 2010. As many areas of Dublin will not benefit directly from rail investment, the bus will therefore remain pivotal in providing transport.


“The Environmental Impact Statement on the upgrade of the M50 did not deliver positive news as it stated that this motorway will remain congested even after the upgrade. It seems that the notorious problems of ‘Europe’s largest car park’ are set to continue into the future.


“In light of recent tragedies and safety concerns concerning school buses it is disheartening that there is nothing specifically mentioned in Transport 21 regarding school transport, which is in need of serious investment.


“The fact that there are still 5 counties on this island without rail is a disgrace. I have noted the complete lack of an all-Ireland approach by the government. We should be ensuring an extensive expansion of an all-Ireland rail network in the future.


“Cyclists and pedestrians have been overlooked. Expenditure on cycle lanes and general road safety has from some reason not made it into Transport 21. European cities such as Amsterdam and Berlin have a comprehensive network of cycle lanes to encourage and promote this healthy and environmentally-friendly mode of transport.  


“With this incompetent and untrustworthy government, can the people realistically expect to see these ambitious schemes delivered on time and on budget?” CRÍOCH

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