Transport Department may as well have no Minister – Munster
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport, Tourism and Sport Imelda Munster TD today questioned the role of Shane Ross as Minister for Transport, amid widespread chaos in the transport sector.
Deputy Munster was speaking after a meeting of the Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport, where representatives from TII and the Department of Transport appeared to discuss the dire state of our roads, and the totally inadequate level of funding available to the department to remedy the situation.
Speaking about the current challenges facing the rail network, Deputy Munster said:
“The Department may as well have no Minister. It is as though there is nobody steering the ship. The crux of the matter is that the sector is woefully underfunded, and this has led to the crises we are seeing with the deterioration of our roads and our rail network in the past eight years.
“I have to question whether it is not government policy to run public services into the ground so that it appears we have no option but to close them down.
“Our public transport network is there to provide a public service, which includes servicing rural areas, alongside densely populated urban areas. That’s what defines it from a private transport operator who can pick and choose to service only the most profitable routes. Maybe that is the ulterior motive behind all this.
“Cutting railway lines appears to be something of a knee-jerk reaction to the figures quoted in the NTA report. Closing stations and lines is not the answer. We should weigh up all options during the consultation period to address the challenges facing the rail network so that we can find solutions to improve our vital public transport network.”