Missed opportunity for free public transport and sufficient extra buses to give people alternative to car use
Mistakes of National Children’s Hospital and Broadband not learnt
People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith and member of the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment has said that the Governments Climate Plan has proven to be a missed opportunity to “take the steps needed to cut our CO2 emissions in a just and sustainable way”.
She said that the government’s refusal to include People Before Profit’s proposal for free public transport and the provision of extra buses, trains and light rail, that would give people an alternative to car use, meant the plan will be seen primarily as a way of punishing the public.”
She pointed to many retrograde measures in the plan, specifically the increased cost of fuels and heating without giving people realistic and affordable alternatives.
She said: “The government’s plan in the area of transport it a shocking failure of our responsibilities to the climate and will do little to increase people’s use of public transport and is a criminal derogation of our duty to the environment.
“What the government are proposing is not radical, not visionary, and will not see the necessary uptake in public transport use that we need to bring down transport emissions. What we needed to see in this plan was free public transport and the provision of many more buses, light rail and trains.
She pointed out that the Bus Connects scheme reference in the plan would see only a marginal increase in the bus fleet for Dublin compared to 2008.
Speaking on the delivery of renewable energy projects the TD for Dublin South Central said: “The state has to lead on the climate emergency. In fact, in many cases it is repeating the mistake of the recent past. The government are going to continue facilitating the tendering of public contracts to private companies for the provision of renewables. The experience of the national broadband plan and the national children’s hospital shows us that this model is unbelievably bad value for money.
“Considering the seriousness of the climate crisis it is beyond belief that the Government want to leave us wholly reliant on private investment funds and private companies to deliver the switch to renewable and fossil free energy.”