April 19, 2023
Government demand management strategy must be workable for commuters – Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications and Transport, Martin Kenny TD, has responded to reports on a memo brought to cabinet yesterday by Minister Eamon Ryan, which lays out a plan to reduce car use and carbon emissions across the state. 

The memo is said to include measures such as “encouraging less car journeys in favour of active transport, such as cycling and walking”.   

Teachta Kenny said:

“The main basis for this report is to reduce carbon emissions across the state, in line with Ireland’s climate goals. 

“We are all in agreement that emissions must be reduced, particularly in urban areas such as Dublin.

“However, as with most objectives this government has set for itself, the implementation of these plans is the issue. 

“As part of this plan, the Green Party will focus on communicating the government’s message of ‘taking one less car journey a week, and embracing active travel methods’. 

“What the Minister has failed to include in his demand management strategy is oversight and investment in timely, reliable public transport services. 

“How long have commuters waited for the Dublin metro project?  How long have workers waited for intercity commuter rail and bus routes that will get them to work on time?

“I know of many workers and families who have already reduced their car use due to the costs of petrol and diesel, as they continue to try and make ends meet during this cost of living crisis. 

“For those who would prefer to use more public transport, they simply cannot rely on some services which operate on an ad-hoc basis, despite there being a timetable of services in place. 

“The most obvious example here is the Go Ahead bus service which has been lacklustre to say the least in its attitude towards the needs of both commuters and staff. 

“The added difficulty with active travel is that it is, to be frank, not an accessible option for some people with disabilities, something the Minister has repeatedly failed to take into account.

“This demand management plan is big on words, but small on realistic actions. 

“Our communities are well aware of this Government’s message when it comes to reducing emissions and they have met these challenges of reducing their electricity use and fuel intake again and again. 

“The Transport Minister must now do some of the heavy lifting here, because he has repeatedly put the responsibility on the shoulders of our workers and commuters.”

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