A new transport plan described as “disaster for the Greater Dublin region”

The latest transport plan for Dublin has been called a “disaster” which “abdicates responsibility” to provide sustainable public transport that meets climate action goals.

It follows the publication of the National Transport Authority’s draft Greater Dublin Region Transport Strategy for 2022-2042.

In it, the NTA outlined plans to move Dublin’s entire fleet of buses and commuters to zero emissions by 2035, but work delays on Metrolink and Dart + have been slammed.

Social Democratic transport spokeswoman Catherine Murphy called the strategy “a disaster for the greater Dublin area”.

She said: “Our climate action goals cannot be achieved without these large-scale public transport projects.

“As it stands, the government is making very dishonest announcements at COP26 – revealing ambitious goals, with no credible means of achieving them.

“It is not tenable to say that we will achieve our goals by switching from gasoline and diesel cars to electric cars.”

“These delays are more than disappointing. They are an abdication of responsibility on the part of the government.

The Dublin Commuter Coalition said it was “extremely disappointed” with the plan.

“We were hoping to see a lot more action and ambition in this review than the current 2016-2035 transport strategy, but, instead, most of the timelines have been pushed back and projects like the DART / DART + underground tunnel and the modernization of the Luas green line on the south side to metro standards has been abolished, ”said spokesman Feljin Jose.

“The DART + tunnel would connect huge parts of the eastern rail network and bring more rail services to the city center.

“These are the kinds of ambitious projects we need to build now to reduce our dependence on cars, reduce emissions and make our city more livable.

“It was supposed to be completed by 2035 in the current strategy. Removing it from the new 2042 strategy is a big mistake. “

They also said the timelines for the strategy are “far too vague” and therefore it will be difficult to bring communities with them.

“Given that this is a draft which is currently under public consultation, we hope that people will make submissions and lobby their politicians for changes to the draft strategy before it is released. finalized, ”he added.

Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Darren O’Rourke said: “I think the government has missed a huge opportunity to invest now in major projects that will bring significant environmental, social and economic benefits over the next few years. decades.

He added that rail appears to have been phased out and is struggling to see how the modal shift required to meet transport emission reduction targets will be achieved through active transport and bus services alone.

The Meath East TD added: “While I welcome many aspects of this plan, I am deeply disappointed to once again see major rail and light rail projects on the road.

“These delays will be a huge blow to the residents of Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow and the thousands of people who commute every day.

“The city is congested with traffic and we desperately need new rail and tram links to provide quality transport options for people. “

The NTA said greenhouse gases from public transport will decrease significantly following additional investments in Dart and Luas and its transition from fossil fuel-emitting buses within 13 years.

They also cited additional investments in walking and cycling.

Cyclist.ie President, Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, Colm Ryder said that “the ambitious goal of a simple 12% modal share for cycling by 2042 is disappointing, compared to existing active transport modal shares. in major European cities “.

“We have seen many past strategies that have not resulted in proposals,” he added.

“Major obstacles must be overcome. Cyclist.ie, as a national advocacy body, will engage closely with the NTA and transport agencies to try to ensure that the vision of this strategy comes to fruition, so that we can all enjoy a better environment, cleaner and healthier as we go. “

NTA Executive Director Anne Graham said it was “a unique opportunity for all of us to help shape the future of this region”.

She added, “I believe this strategy has the potential to be truly transformative. But we cannot do it ourselves.

“Some of the other measures needed to reduce emissions identified in this document may be difficult and will require action not only from the NTA, but also from a range of other public authorities, state agencies and government departments.

“We in the NTA want to play our part and lead by example, and we will do that by shifting our public transport fleet from fossil fuels to low-emission, zero-emission technologies.

“But now we want to get the opinion of members of the public. I invite you to visit www.nationatransport.ie, read our proposals and give your opinion.

The new plans of the strategy include:

  • Provision of a new M3 Parkway railway line in Navan
  • Extension of the DART + program to Sallins / Naas, Kilcock and Wicklow
  • Planning and design of 8 new Luas extensions for construction after 2042

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