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Chauffeur-driven Ministers starving Dublin Bus of funds - Crowe

8 August, 2006


Speaking today Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Seán Crowe TD expressed utter disbelief over the actions of Tánaiste Mary Harney and the Progressive Democrats' who are refusing to agree to approve further investment in Dublin Bus without privatising 25% of the bus market.

The Dublin South-West Deputy said: "Our public transport system has been starved of funds for decades and it is the travelling public who are suffering. Chauffeur-driven Ministers are denying necessary funds to provide Dublin Bus with 200 badly needed extra buses, seemingly having no understanding of the reality faced by the travelling public on a daily basis.

"In Clondalkin, in Mary Harney's own constituency, there is a new bus corridor that cannot even be serviced at present because of a lack of buses.

"This is discriminating against those who rely on buses to commute. This has led to the marginalisation of those 20% of households without a car, who struggle to travel to work, college or school, go shopping and to maintain social links. The failure of successive governments to address our transport problems has resulted in Ireland's capital city being gridlocked on a daily basis. The government continues to facilitate the private car as a means of transport while neglecting public transport.

"Dublin Bus's fleet has remained constant for a number of years. In many areas the bus remains pivotal in providing transport. Privatisation is not the answer, appropriate state investment is. The deregulation of the bus market in Britain was disastrous, resulting in higher fares, lower standards, lower wages and job insecurity. What the travelling public deserves is a fast, efficient, clean and safe bus service, a viable alternative to car-reliance, which can only be realised by releasing the necessary funding for Dublin Bus."

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