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Dublin Bus review - Government guilty of holding up development

27 March, 2006

In response to a major review of bus services in Dublin, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Seán Crowe today criticised Minister for Transport Martin Cullen’s record. "There is a severe need to increase the bus fleet to serve the thousands of existing and extra commuters," Deputy Crowe said.  "And it is this Minister and his bedfellows in the PDs and their privatisation agenda which is holding things up and depriving the people of Dublin of a first class, quality public transport system."

The Dublin South West TD said, "Traffic congestion and gridlock are resulting in bus speeds dropping to as low as around 8kph on some routes.  In fact some people would be quicker running to work as a result of the neglect of our public transport system by this and previous Ministers for Transport.

"Sinn Féin is opposed to privatisation. The problem with Dublin Bus has been under funding.  The reality is that it receives one of the lowest subsidies given to a state-run bus company anywhere in Europe.  It is very clear from even a cursory look at some of the bus networks in the major European cities that it is the state-owned companies that perform best.

"What Ireland’s public transport requires is not market liberalisation and privatisation, but adequate subsidies.  I am calling on Martin Cullen to address the challenges raised by this review.  Dublin Bus, like Aer Lingus, is an asset and should remain publicly run and subject to some form of democratic accountability, instead of being dismantled and hocked off for the enrichment or benefit of a select few." ENDS

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