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Morgan rejects EU interference in Irish public transport

19 July, 2007

With the likelihood of a formal investigation to be conducted regarding state subsidy of public transport operators, Sinn Féin Arthur Morgan TD this morning rejected EU interference in this state's public bus operations.

Deputy Morgan said, "Bus Átha Cliath and Bus Éireann currently receive one of the lowest state subventions in Europe. This translates into infrequent services in certain areas, high fares and commuter frustration. The government are towing the privatisation obsessed EU line instead of substantially investing in public transport. Fianna Fáil, the PDs and the EU seem more obsessed with facilitating private transport operators in their profit making rather than enabling Bus Átha Cliath and Bus Éireann to purchase more buses that they urgently need to cope with increasing public commuter demand.

"The privatisation of public transport has failed miserably wherever it has been implemented. Fares have risen, unprofitable routes have been cut, drivers have lost their jobs and health and safety standards have dropped. Commuters in this state deserve a world-class efficient, affordable and clean transport system. EU interference here, judging state subsidy to public transport operators as promoting 'unfair competition', is yet another example of the further erosion of sovereignty to Brussels.

"Sinn Féin demands substantial investment in public transport and reject any attempts of deregulation. Public transport is an investment to significantly improve the lives of people and should not be merely another marketplace for private interests to amass profits." Deireadh

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