News & Media

Air quality a serious health risk for Dubliners

9 July 2019

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

Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys has described as the level of air pollution in Dublin as public health issue. He has pointed to the lack of public transport as a primary cause of this issue and has called on Minster Ross to take action.

Senator Humphreys said:

"Revelations from the EPA that Dublin air quality has levels of Nitrogen Dioise exceeding EU safety limits is deeply concerning but are not surprising. I personally believe that the report undersetimates the level of pollution due to a lack of extensive air quality monitoring in Dublin. We need to examine the level of monitoring which is happening of Dublin air quality.

"Dublin is one of the most congested cities in the EU. There are far too many diesel vechiles on our roads. The highest rates of Nitrogen Dioxide levels were recorded in areas with heavy car congestion. Meanwhile huge parts of Dublin are under-serviced by public transport. These findings show that the lack of public transport does not just contribute to traffic, it is having a detrimental effect on Dubliners health. 

"The Minister for Transport is out this morning talking about the government's Climate Action Plan. That plan's primary transport focus involves getting people into electric cars. That is a long term plan which is simply replacing one vehicle with another, and one for which the infrastructure is not yet in place.

"It is time for the Minister to be realistic and work with the infrastructure we have. We could get more buses on the road, and create delineated cycles lanes around the city in a far shorter period of time than we could get everyone in Dublin into an electric car. 

"This government has to take this public health issue seriously and increase Dublin city public transport capacity now."