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Withdrawal of 120 buses in Dublin under Green Party watch incomprehensible

16 January, 2009

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP has described the decision to withdraw 120 buses from the capital city’s bus service as ‘incomprehensible’. Ms McDonald also warned against any future moves by government to introduce private operators into some of Dublin city’s bus routes.

The Dublin MEP said:

“The decision to withdraw 120 buses from the capital city’s public transport service is incomprehensible, particularly in the context that is happening under the Green Party’s watch.

“This is a bad decision for workers, the people of Dublin, for public service delivery, for the environment and for Ireland’s sustainability. This decision by Dublin Bus is an indictment of the government’s refusal to properly invest in the capital city’s public transport service.

“It is also an entrenchment of failed Fianna Fáil policy. Dublin is heavily dependent on car usage, primarily because government policy for decades now has prioritised road building above public transport infrastructural projects and the necessary resources to support them. Government should be increasing investment in existing public transport not reducing it.

“This decision is also bad news for the environment. Ireland made commitments along side its European partners in December to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020. Clearly the government, despite the influence of the Green Party from within its ranks, has little intention of honouring these commitments.

“In February of last year Sinn Féin welcomed the Transport Ministers decision to shelve plans to privatise of a number of Dublin Bus routes. We noted that the privatisation of public services and critical infrastructure such as communications and health had proved to be a disaster for citizens and businesses alike. Private operators cherry pick routes and leave public service provision volatile.

“Today’s announcement must be reversed and the current city bus service maintained. I will be seeking a meeting with trade union representatives to discuss the potential job losses and I will also be seeking a meeting with the Minister for Transport.” ENDS

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