Oireachtas scrutiny required for BusConnects plan - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD has today called on the Minister for Transport and the National Transport Authority (NTA) to take on board the serious concerns of local residents in its public consultation on BusConnects.
Speaking in the Dáil this evening, Deputy Munster called on the Minister to allow for a revised plan to be compiled, on foot of the public consultation, which would then be sent to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport for further scrutiny.
This scrutiny would include public hearings to ensure that the voices of local communities are heard.
Deputy Munster said:
“We need an improvement in bus services in Dublin, as congestion and poor infrastructure are proving problematic for the network.
“However, a central part of any plan must be the views and suggestions of those who use the service.
“At present there is a lot of upset and anxiety in local areas due to serious problems with the proposed changes. Communities across the city are in fear of being left behind.
“Any plan to improve transport services has to connect people with services, with work and with their local areas.
"It cannot disconnect communities. And this is the worry in areas across Dublin.
“There is a consultation process taking place at the moment. Sinn Féin TDs, Senators and Councillors in Dublin have been working hard in their localities engaging with people on the ground and with the consultation process.
“We need to improve services. Cutting services will not encourage people to take the bus.
"People having to take three buses to get to work for the sake of saving a few minutes on paper isn’t a solution. We need a common sense approach.
“People with mobility issues and disabilities need to be considered in these plans.
“Fianna Fáil have called for the entire proposal to be scrapped.
"This is an unhelpful and populist reaction to the plan, give that there is only one week remaining in the public consultation process and thousands of people and groups have taken the time to prepare submissions.
“I have proposed that a revised plan is compiled on foot of the consultation process which will come before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport for further scrutiny.
"This would provide an opportunity for community groups to attend in public session and air their concerns. It would also ensure that the plan is accountable to the Committee.
“If the views of local communities are not taken on board the plan cannot proceed.”