Saturday 20 October 2018

FF targets Ross on 'abysmal' reaction to traffic chaos

Shane Ross will reply today. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Shane Ross will reply today. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Fianna Fáil is targeting Transport Minister Shane Ross for criticism for a second week in a row, this time over "traffic chaos" in the capital.

The party's Dublin spokesman John Lahart has claimed that Mr Ross's response to congestion since the opening of the new Luas Cross City service has been "abysmal".

It comes after Fianna Fáil used its Dáil time last week to criticise Mr Ross and the Government over the state of roads in rural Ireland.

The Government's Project Ireland 2040 initiative includes plans for the €3bn Metro North between Swords and Sandyford and a €2bn expansion of the Dart network.

Mr Lahart said that while Mr Ross offers "this great vision", delivery on some of the projects is several years away.

He said: "Dublin needs solutions for the gap between now and when that infrastructure comes along." He said there should be smaller, immediate moves to tackle gridlock.

A spokesperson for Mr Ross said he would be addressing issues raised by Fianna Fáil in the Dáil today.

Fianna Fáil's latest motion notes the introduction of the Luas Cross City and the plan to introduce extra carriages to meet demand. It claims there was a lack of forward planning to allow for the introduction of Luas Cross City and there is "traffic chaos" in the city centre as a result.

It also says there are a large number of suburbs without the Luas, Dart or dedicated public transport corridors. It puts the economic cost of congestion at around €350m a year.

The party has called for "short to medium-term policy changes to get routes into and out of Dublin moving again".

It wants more feeder buses for the Luas and Dart, more peak-time buses and more quality bus corridors. It also wants more investment in park-and-ride facilities as well as increased train station parking.

The motion suggests exploring the use of the River Liffey to help alleviate traffic bottlenecks, citing the existence of boat services in other European cities.

Separately, Green Party TD Catherine Martin wants the Oireachtas Transport Committee to quiz Luas operators Transdev on delays to services in recent months. Transdev is to appear at the committee tomorrow along with representatives from Dublin City Council and taxi drivers to discuss congestion at College Green.

Irish Independent

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