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Sinn Féin call for 'Weekend Only' Car Insurance to attract people on to Public Transport

7 August, 2003

Sinn Fein Representative and local election candidate for Donaghmede, Killian Forde, today called for an imaginative, creative and tough approach to the car insurance rip off and public transport shambles in the state. He called for the introduction of 'weekend only' car insurance to attract car owners to public transport during the working week.

He made his comments in advance of the publication of the Oireachtas Committee report on reducing insurance premiums.

Mr Forde said:

"At the moment car owners are not attracted to the idea of leaving their car at home and taking public transport after forking out hundreds of Euro on car insurance.

"The introduction of 'weekend only' car insurance would encourage car owners to leave their vehicles at home during the working week and use public transport to get to work.

"Increased use of cars for commuting to and from work is not sustainable in a city with the growth rate of Dublin. This government needs to introduce incentives to get people onto public transport and out of their cars, such as the option of weekend only insurance and pre-paid tax-deductible travel tickets.

"It would be ideal if public transport could serve people all day, every day of the week, but the reality is that due to increased suburbanisation and the ongoing siting of shops, cinemas and services near motorways, such as the M50, car ownership is a real need for most families in Dublin.

Mr Forde added:

"A weekend insurance rate for a car could save a family over €1,200 per year. That money, in a contracting economy like ours, could be better spent elsewhere and kept out of the pockets of the profit driven insurance industry, who only last week announced profits of €183 million.".

"The Minister for Transport needs to take immediate action if the ongoing transport crisis is to be addressed. He needs to get creative, he needs to look further afield at transport models that work and he needs end profiteering by greedy insurance companies." ENDS

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