Sunday 20 October 2019

We need public transport

Madam – Dan White (Sunday Independent, May 19, 2013) has a remarkably Dublin-centred view if he seriously believes a scenario "that the State-owned transport company will shrink to Dublin Bus, Dart and not much more". Certainly, both the recession and the motorway network have contributed to a drop in longer journey public transport usage, much of it reversible when times improve.

As someone who uses both the Cork-Dublin motorway from Cashel and the railway from Limerick Junction most weeks, the issue, where there is a choice, is not just door-to-door journey time, but how productively that journey time can be spent. As the current Irish Rail advertising campaign underlines, a train journey enables people to work on the computer, read, or make business phone calls, whereas driving one can only listen to the radio or music.

A lot of people from the country do not like to tangle with Dublin traffic, unfamiliar streets and costly parking, or want the extra tiredness resulting from long car journeys each way in a day.

It can be practically excluded that citizens and voters from outside Dublin would tolerate the withdrawal of even the limited public transport facilities that they have access to, while having to subsidise excellent facilities in the greater Dublin area. There will always be a large number of people who do not drive and who rely on public transport. You cannot simply shut it down, just because there are financial and industrial relations problems. Is there any conception of how gridlocked Dublin would become if it could in the main be accessed only by road?

Martin Mansergh,


Irish Independent

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