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Dáil Éireann - Private Members Business (Fianna Fáil)
Wednesday 10 May 2017


“That Dáil Éireann:

recognises:

— that transport and travel trends within the Greater Dublin Area are unsustainable, congestion is increasing, transport emissions are growing, economic competitiveness is suffering and quality of life for commuters and inhabitants is declining;

— the capacity of the Dublin region as a destination for living, visiting and for locating and doing business is being seriously undermined;

— that significant actions are required to increase capacity and usability of public transport, to better manage traffic during peak periods and to reduce the private car share dependence by commuting traffic especially;

— that the population in the Greater Dublin Area is expected to grow by 22 per cent to 1.8 million by 2030 and by 26 per cent to 700,000 in the Mid-East Region alone including Kildare, Meath and Wicklow and increasing investment in rail services including the Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) expansion, as well as vital bus services including Bus Rapid Transit, is absolutely essential;

— that this Government lacks a comprehensive vision and strategic plan for how to cope with future public transport demand in the core Dublin City Area as well as the Greater Dublin Area; and

— that the Capital Plan is emblematic of the lack of ambition, vision and forward planning for public transport;

acknowledges:

— That many of the main arterial routes into Dublin, including the M50, either have already reached operational capacity or are expected to reach capacity in the near future;

— the lack of preparation and forward planning for the impact of the Luas Cross City, including the impact of its construction on city trade and mobility;

— the urgent need to increase the numbers and frequency of buses, either public or private, from expanding suburban areas in order to tackle capacity issues, relieve traffic congestion and provide practical choices for commuters;

— that while expanding capacity on our motorway and primary road network is something we need to plan for in the future, recognises that traffic demand policies are essential to relieving congestion as will sustained increases in public transport investment;

— that transport bottlenecks and congestion are increasingly becoming a drag on growth and productivity in our cities as well as hindering wider regional development in large parts of the country;

— that despite the historically low cost of financing to deliver economically and socially critical infrastructure projects, this Government has produced no policy plans for how to mitigate transport infrastructure deficits;

— that now is the time to:

— build critical transport infrastructure like the DART Underground and Metro North;

— make vital improvements such as bus lane completions and removing ‘pinch points’ for Dublin buses;

— ensure priority signaling at junctions;

— continue to invest in real time passenger information, which will increase capacity and service reliability on public transport, make it easier for commuters to get to work and relieve congestion in our cities; and

— develop park and ride infrastructure in order to facilitate ease of use of various public transport modes;

— that the Government has completely failed to mobilise additional investment in transport infrastructure available under the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), and of the EFSI transactions within the European Union, 6 per cent are in the transport sector, yet in Ireland there has not been a single transport project put forward by the Government to the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the €500 billion funding stream; and

— that the decision to cancel the DART Underground project, described by the National Transport Authority as ‘the missing link’ in Ireland’s rail infrastructure, was short-sighted and a costly set-back for the liveability of the city, while the only large transport infrastructure contained in the Government’s Capital Plan, ‘the optimised Metro North’ proposal, could be fundamentally lacking capacity as it was recommended on the basis of reduced employment growth and passenger demand projections in 2013, which are no longer accurate; and

calls on the Government to:

— commit to giving enhanced governance, democratic input and administration of transport in Dublin by enacting section 17 of the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008 which provides for the establishment of the Dublin Transport Authority Advisory Council;

— give a firm commitment to significantly increase annual investment in public transport, including funding to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) companies to improve attractiveness, reliability and integration of public transport;

— establish a new, dedicated Cycle Way Fund for bike-lanes and cycle-friendly infrastructure, Dublin Bike extensions, the rolling out of secure bike lockers and parking throughout the city as well as funding for pedestrianised ‘open streets’ initiatives to
encourage cycling;

— earmark a portion of the Local Government Fund to annual resurfacing, maintenance and quality improvements in bike lanes and road verges to enhance safety for cyclists; and

— commit, as part of revisions to the Capital Plan, to bolster capital investment levels by securing funding agreements from the EIB and further Public Private Partnerships under the EFSI for critical transport investments like the DART Underground and Metro North.”

— John Lahart, Bobby Aylward, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, James Browne, Mary Butler, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Jack Chambers, Lisa M. Chambers, Niall Collins, Barry Cowen, John Curran, Stephen S. Donnelly, Timmy Dooley, Sean Fleming, Pat the Cope Gallagher, Seán Haughey, Billy Kelleher, James Lawless, Marc MacSharry, Micheál Martin, Charlie McConalogue, Michael McGrath, John McGuinness, Aindrias Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Eugene Murphy, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Darragh O'Brien, Jim O'Callaghan, Éamon Ó Cuív, Willie O'Dea, Kevin O'Keeffe, Fiona O'Loughlin, Frank O'Rourke, Anne Rabbitte, Eamon Scanlon, Brendan Smith, Niamh Smyth, Robert Troy.
[5 May, 2017]


 
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