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Bus Connects must have real consultation with those impacted

12 June 2018

Statement by Senator Kevin Humphreys
Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport

Reacting to the publication of some of the details for the Bus Connects programme, Labour spokesperson on Transport, Senator Kevin Humphreys said that residents impacted by the plans must be fully consulted and engaged with. He also said that the needs of cyclists must be at the heart of the proposals.

Senator Humphreys said:

"Congestion is a growing problem across the country, but particularly in the Dublin city area so it is welcome that investment will be targeted to address this. The needs of cyclists, and bus routes must be addressed.

"The programme is aimed in particular at buses, but the number of cyclists using our roads has rapidly increased and will continue to grow. Launching the plan during National Bike Week, it is essential that cyclists are at the heart of the proposals and that bicycle friendly road engineering plans are implemented including appropriate junction treatment.

"The National Transport Authority must learn from previous mistakes and engage in real consultation and engagement with those impacted by the proposals. Well over 1,000 homes will be affected and private traffic may also be rerouted through what had previously been quiet roads.

"As we saw with the NTA's abandoned Merrion gates proposal if those impacted and affected aren't properly engaged with, that public confidence can be quickly lost.

"Judging by comments in the papers, it would appear Government backbenchers have been given a sneak peak of the plans so I am disappointed that residents who will actually be impacted haven't been spoken to first.

"More must be done to address congestion, and specifically ensure our roads are fit for purpose for cyclists, and that public transport has priority over private cars.

"The elephant in the room is congestion charging which has been successfully implemented in diverse cities such as London, Oslo and Stockholm.

"The BusConnects programme is much needed but it is a €2 billion roll of the dice and will provide future capacity and improved journey times, but won't reduce the growing number of cars on the road.

"Encouraging people to shift to walking, cycling and public transport must remain a priority. Quicker journey times are essential so Bus Connects is badly needed, but must be done right."