22 March 2007 Edition
Transport : Banners unveiled in key locations
Citywide actions highlight transport chaos
Sinn Féin activists in Dublin dropped banners and handed out thousands of leaflets to people in Fairview, the Red Cow Junction, Blanchard-stown and at the Ha’penny Bridge on Wednesday as part of a citywide Transport Week of Action.
The banners, unveiled in key locations around the city and M50 motorway demanded 500 additional publicly funded new buses for Dublin Bus and the immediate lifting of the M50 toll barriers.
Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Seán Crowe TD said the party was highlighting the capital’s traffic chaos and telling commuters that it “does not have to be this way” if Sinn Féin proposals are implemented.
Sinn Féin’s Week of Action on Transport was launched on Tuesday when Seán Crowe, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, Mary Lou McDonald MEP, City Councillors Dessie Ellis and Larry O’Toole and Dublin South candidate Shaun Tracey presented the party’s bus side election posters at the Dublin Bus Phibsboro Garage.
Seán Crowe told the media in attendance at the launch that “Sinn Féin advocates appropriate state investment in public services and rejects the failed privatisation policy of the PDs. The public transport privatisation experience in Britain shows us that bus and rail prices for consumers rose, workers’ salaries were reduced and most worryingly safety standards fell substantially. Dublin deserves better and Sinn Féin is the party to deliver.”
Grinding to a halt
The Dublin South-West TD, speaking on Wednesday at the notoriously busy Red Cow junction said that decades of public transport underfunding by successive governments had ensured that Dublin grinds to a halt with traffic chaos on a daily basis. “This does not have to be the case. With proper public transport investment the people of this city could have what they deserve, that is efficient, cheap, clean, safe, and faster and more frequent transport. The amount of private cars is unsustainable regarding traffic chaos and pollution. We need more buses as viable alternatives to private cars, and we need those public buses now”, Crowe said.
“Though the government claim that the amount of private cars is due to affluence and a successful economy, their conclusion is flawed. A significant number of people use private cars, not because they are a luxury but because they have fast become a necessity in Dublin. Some people simply have no choice due to inadequate government funding of Bus Átha Cliath.
“People are spending less time with their loved ones because of increasingly long and frustrating commutes, having a significantly detrimental impact on their quality of life. Sinn Féin is calling for 500 more public buses to service the capital. We also want to see major improvements in bus stops and shelters, for instance electronic information time informing commuters of exactly how long they have to wait”, he said.
“We wish to see a situation where all public transport is accessible to those with disabilities as a matter of urgency. We need integration between all modes of transport so that a single pass could be used on all forms. We are also urging the government to abandon their privatisation agenda. The model of privatising public transport has failed miserably, most notably in England with fatal results.
“In Government Sinn Féin would abolish the motorway tolls, yet another tax on people travelling to work. We also need major improvements for cyclists and pedestrians. We would promote cycling by improving the quantity and quality of cycle lanes and facilities and introducing free communal bicycles in the City Centre. The logic is simple, with more public transport there would be less cars, less traffic gridlock and less hassle when commuting and less damage to the environment. Sinn Féin is determined to achieve stress-free commuting in the Capital”, the TD said.
Sinn Féin’s proposals for Dublin Transport are being unveiled today (Thursday) and the week’s activities conclude with local banner drops including at the East Link Toll Bridge by the Maireád Farrell/Jackie Griffith/Tom Smith cumann in Dublin South East.