Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Travelling public waiting months for buses as government postures - Crowe

15 September, 2006


Speaking this morning Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has urged Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats to "stop their political posturing and release funding for 100 new buses urgently required by Dublin Bus and a further 160 new buses for Bus Éireann."

The disagreement over what percentage of bus routes to privatise has delayed the provision of this funding; with reports today that Fianna Fáil is opting to set aside 15% for private tender while their PD partners wish to privatise a 25% chunk with devastating effects for the travelling public.

The Dublin South West TD stated that: "This political wrangle has been dragged out far too long. Dublin Bus has been starved of funds for decades in comparison to other European public bus companies, where it receives one of the lowest state subsidy levels.

"This delay in providing Dublin Bus with the extra number of buses they require amounts to nothing less than a punishing wait for bus users, a travelling public who are waiting months for these promised buses.

"Maybe Minister Cullen would abandon his privatisation plans and release funding for Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann if he actually was one of those travelling public squeezing onto packed buses, assuming there are buses servicing their localities at all, simply to commute to and from their place of work.

Reports today that Fianna Fáil may propose reserving new routes for private operators while preventing Dublin Bus from tendering for them is the worst of both worlds, with the only people guaranteed to win being the private bus operators. The only guaranteed losers, the long-suffering travelling public.

"Ireland's transport 'system' is creaking under pressure, due to this government's incompetent transport policies. In a wealthy economy, our travelling public deserve a quick, clean and efficient public bus service. This is achievable and nothing less should be acceptable."

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