Public Transport: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Eamon Ryan on Wednesday, 17 April 2019:
That Dáil Éireann:
notes that:
— 92 per cent of the members of the Citizens' Assembly recommended that the State should prioritise the expansion of public transport spending over new road infrastructure spending at a ratio of no less than 2:1 to facilitate the broader availability and uptake of public transport options with attention to rural areas;
— vitally important public transport projects such as the Western Rail Corridor, the Dublin-Navan railway line and the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) Interconnector, which a decade ago were close to being implemented, were stopped by the Government;
— the National Development Plan 2018-2020 envisages total expenditure on land transport infrastructure of €20.6 billion up to 2027, with €8.6 billion of that going to public transport, and when non-national roads are taken into account, the anticipated ratio of public transport spending to new roads infrastructure is significantly lower than 1:2;
— in some jurisdictions, towns or villages which meet population thresholds are entitled to guaranteed public transport service based on population size, linking them into the overall public transport network, e.g. in the Canton of Zurich, every village with 300 residents, jobs or educational places is entitled to a service connecting to the network on an hourly basis;
— the rail network in Ireland is less than half of its historic greatest extent, with some counties now having no rail service at all;
— Ireland has the lowest percentage of its rail network electrified of any European country, with 3 per cent electrified compared to an European Union average of 54 per cent;
— underinvestment in rail infrastructure is continuing, reducing the quality of service on all lines and undermining the viability of some;
— the Dáil, on 17th January last, called on the Government to ensure that 10 per cent of transport funding is allocated to cycling;
— there is an inherent complementarity between providing good public transport and making good provision for walking and cycling at each end of the public transport trip, including providing cycle parking;
— the annual cost of congestion in the Greater Dublin Area has been estimated at €358 million in 2012, predicted to rise to €2 billion per annum in 2033;
— attempts to address congestion by increasing road capacity are futile because they induce more traffic;
— the average distance to work has increased from 11 kilometres to 18 kilometres between 1991 and 2016;
— over 10 per cent of trips to work, school or college are in excess of one hour in length;
— the extension and improvement of public transport in both urban and rural areas improves social equity and enables people on low incomes to avail of economic, social and environmental opportunities;
— extending and improving public transport enables and encourages reduction in private car use, with consequent benefits for air quality and greenhouse gas emissions;
— greenhouse gas emissions from road transport increased by 140 per cent between 1990 and 2017;
— greenhouse gas emissions from transport continue to increase rapidly and are projected to grow by 18 per cent over the period 2017-2020 and by 20 per cent over the period 2017-2030;
— the impact of Project Ireland 2040 on greenhouse gas emissions from transport has not been assessed;
— climate modelling of the National Development Plan 2018-2027 shows that we are only on track to achieve one third of the emissions reductions we have committed to make by 2030;
— the inherent spatial efficiency of public transport means that transferring trips from cars to public transport frees space to be allocated for other uses, improving the liveability of cities and towns; and
— due to the increased physical activity involved with using public transport compared to private motor vehicles, improved public transport has a significant positive impact on public health;
adopts the recommendation of the Citizens’ Assembly in this regard;
and calls on the Government to:
— prioritise the expansion of public transport spending over new road infrastructure spending at a ratio of no less than 2:1 to facilitate the broader availability and uptake of public transport options with special attention to rural areas;
— ensure that all public transport routes operate as part of an integrated, interconnected national public transport system;
— ensure that all public transport services are accessible and useable by all;
— establish specifications for rural public transport to connect populations to the national public transport system based on population size;
— investigate innovative rural public transport options, including combining public transport services with the transport needed to deliver other public services, and learn from existing rural transport pilot projects;
— include the assessment of implications for greenhouse gas emissions in all assessments and evaluations of transport expenditure;
— revise Project Ireland 2040 accordingly;
— ask the National Transport Authority to revise the Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy accordingly;
— consider the following for inclusion in the National Development Plan 2018-2027:
— completion of the restoration of the Western Rail Corridor;
— Cork Luas, reopening of suburban rail stations in Cork, river buses, and a more extensive bus and cycleway network than currently envisaged;
— Galway Light Rail and a more extensive bus network in Galway;
— development of a local rail service on the four railway lines serving Limerick;
— a comprehensive local bus network for Waterford;
— completion of the restoration of the Dublin-Navan railway line;
— the DART Interconnector;
— Metro West; and
— a national greenway network;
— consider the restoration or opening of other rail lines for inclusion in the National Development Plan 2018-2027;
— bring forward a plan for large-scale investment in urban, interurban and rural bus systems;
— bring forward a plan for major modernisation and improvement of the rail network, including electrification of main lines, with goals of modernisation of all lines, increasing frequencies and reducing journey times below two hours for trips between Cork, Belfast, Limerick, Waterford, Sligo and Dublin, and below one hour and thirty minutes between Galway and Dublin;
— ensure good quality access to public transport by foot and bicycle; and
— expand the bicycle sharing systems in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick, and establish new systems in other cities and towns, especially centred on rail and bus stations.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann:” and substitute the following:
“notes:
— the ambition of Project Ireland 2040 in, inter alia, supporting compact growth, enhanced regional accessibility, strengthened rural economies and communities, sustainable mobility and the transition to a low carbon economy;
— the integral role of sustainable mobility in both urban and rural areas in supporting that ambition;
— the more strategic and long-term approach toward public transport planning which has evolved in recent years due to improved legislative and policy frameworks;
— the significantly enhanced levels of investment planned in sustainable mobility over the next ten years and the 29 per cent increase in investment between 2017 and 2019 in the major public transport capital investment programmes;
— that the levels of funding now provided toward the maintenance and renewal of the heavy rail network mean it is now funded at the ‘steady state’ level;
— the on-going development of a number of important policies and strategies, including the forthcoming All of Government Plan on Climate Disruption, the draft Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy, the recently commenced Limerick – Shannon
Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy, the impending Waterford Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy and the review of the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area which is scheduled to commence in 2020; and
— that investment levels will increase further in future years, within overall budgetary parameters, to support the implementation of these finalised policies and strategies; and
calls on the Government to:
— prioritise the implementation of those published projects and programmes as contained within Project Ireland 2040; and
— continue to examine, within the statutory, policy and budgetary frameworks as now established, the potential of other projects and programmes to contribute further toward the continual development of improved public transport networks and services.
- (Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport)

I must now deal with a postponed division relating to the motion regarding public transport. On Wednesday, 17 April 2019, on the question that the amendment to the motion be agreed to, a division was claimed and, in accordance with Standing Order 70(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 50; Níl, 64; Staon, 0.

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Níl

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Curran, John.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 2:

To delete all words after “calls on the Government to:” and substitute the following:

“—increase investment in sustainable transport projects in order to tackle congestion, reduce emissions and drive sustainable growth;

—accelerate the rollout of additional rail carriages in order to tackle severe overcrowding on commuter trains;

— increase the frequency of bus services along heavily used routes in order to alleviate rail overcrowding in the short-term and increase the overall quality of the bus network;

— invest in rural transport in order to create social and economic opportunities;

— identify key pinch points across Ireland’s public transport network and target investment to alleviate these pinch points;

— allocate funding to local authorities for the purpose of maintaining and improving existent cycling infrastructure;

— drastically increase the availability of the physically segregated cycling infrastructure across the country, particularly in urban and suburban areas;

— gradually phase out the use of diesel only buses in order to support a cleaner Irish bus network;

— undertake a cost-benefit analysis of key projects such as the Western Rail Corridor 1157 and the Dublin-Navan railway line extension;

— immediately commence an upgrade of Ireland’s rail signalling infrastructure in order to facilitate greater use of existent rolling stock, decrease journey times, and reduce congestion at stations;

— set up a Dublin Transport Authority in order to plan for and oversee the delivery of transport projects within the Greater Dublin Area;

— accelerate the delivery of the DART Underground project, which has been identified by the National Transport Authority as key to unlocking the potential of the Dublin transport network;

— set out a pathway to fully electrify Ireland’s rail fleet, which will decrease transport emissions and journey times;

— increase investment in Ireland’s electric vehicle charging network in order to make electric vehicle ownership more attractive for Irish citizens; and

— establish a National Infrastructure Commission in order to ensure that large-scale infrastructure projects are delivered in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 44; Níl, 69; Staon, 0.

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Brady, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Curran, John.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Troy, Robert.

Níl

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies John Curran and John Lahart; Níl, Deputies Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin.
Amendment declared lost.
Question put: "That the motion be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 36; Níl, 77; Staon, 0.

  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.

Níl

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Curran, John.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin; Níl, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin.
Question declared lost.
Sitting suspended at 1.45 p.m. and resumed at 2.25 p.m.