The Green Party has today welcomed the publication of revised plans for the BusConnects project by the National Transport Authority, but warns that traffic enforcement is crucial in the roll-out of the plan.
Green Party Transport Spokesperson Patrick Costello TD said: “I welcome this second round of public consultation on the core BusConnects corridors, and the revisions that have been made to the initial proposals. Thanks to the high levels of participation in the public consultation process, we’re seeing far fewer trees and gardens impacted by the revised plans, while still giving priority in the designs to busses over private cars.
“Space is limited along many of these proposed routes, and designing the corridors in a way that prioritises trees and busses over cars is the most sustainable option. We have to encourage and facilitate the use of public transport over private cars if we want to tackle our emissions and free the city from gridlock. These plans represent a positive step in that direction.
“The revisions outlined illustrate the value of public consultation, and the important thing now is for individuals and communities to continue to engage with this process. The plans have come a long way since the initial designs, and they can be further improved to ensure that BusConnects delivers for Dublin.”
Green Party MEP for Dublin Ciarán Cuffe adds: “Each iteration of the Bus Connects Plan has been an improvement on its predecessor. I’m looking forward to the submission of this revised Plan to An Bord Pleanála. Hopefully, approval and construction will swiftly follow.
“Traffic enforcement is a crucial aspect of the Plan’s success. It would be useful for An Garda Síochána to make a public commitment to working with local authorities and transport agencies to make the plan succeed. All too often pedestrians and cyclists, as well as buses, are held hostage by illegally parked cars that block their way. A commitment to higher standards of roads policing would greatly help the prospects of BusConnects succeeding. Other initiatives such as the roll-out of traffic cameras that could automatically detect and issue fines to cars illegally using bus lanes would also be welcome. I call on Acting Minister Ross to work with his colleagues to initiate this.
“The revised Plan isn’t perfect, and it would be better if a higher priority was given to active travel, public transport and safeguarding trees, but I intend making this clear in my submission to Bord Pleanála, and it is a step in the right direction.
“Improvements in public transport can bring real environmental and social benefits. Now is the time to manage our road space to prioritise transport that meets our climate goals, and provides social benefits. A progressive Government could also eliminate or lower bus fares, particularly for children and students so as to better serve the people of Dublin.”
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