I'll write a more opinionated piece tomorrow, but for the moment here's my press release...
Greens say Metro-North a better option than €4Bn. Eastern Bypass
The Green Party has criticised a new report on the Eastern Bypass as being out of touch and out of date. The Report from the National Roads Authority costs the proposed motorway at €4 billion, and proposes the construction of a new bridge across Dublin Bay from the Dublin Port to Booterstown.
Green Party Transport Spokesperson Ciarán Cuffe TD stated:
"This Report lacks any sense of vision for Dublin. Instead it simply throws out more roads as a solution. This approach was out-dated twenty years ago, and it beggars belief that such an approach can still hold currency today.
Local Green Party Election candidate for the South East Inner City Claire Wheeler stated:
"We are facing catastrophic climate change as well as economic depression. Now is not the time to spend on more infrastructure for cars. We need proper public transport. In any case as a tunnel would be prohibitively expensive given the geology, and a bridge would ruin Dublin Bay. Such a bridge would often be closed to traffic due to high winds."
Deputy Cuffe went on to say:
"Instead of more roads in urban areas we must invest in public transport. The Metro-North project between the city centre to Swords, and the rail inter connector between Connolly and Pearse station would allow more people the choice of using high quality public transport and would represent better use of public funds.. The success of the two Luas lines show that if high frequency public transport is provided, it will be well used.
"It is incredible that the NRA can produce a Report almost one hundred pages long in 2009 with only a passing reference to climate change. The Report also acknowledges that the Eastern Bypass may lead to the transfer of people from public transport into cars (Page 79). How many more Reports do we need to show that more roads are not the solution to transport issues in urban areas.
"This report deserves to be binned. I intend writing to my colleague Noel Dempsey, the Minister for Transport, and request him to look again at the terms of reference of the NRA so that this type of approach is not repeated. It is anachronistic that tax-payers money has been spent on such a document.
"Both the Labour Party and Fine Gael supported the Eastern Bypass and inserted it into the Dublin City and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Development Plans. As both of these Plans are currently being reviewed I call on their their councillors to reconsider their approach and back public transport instead.
The NRA Report may be found on their website at the following link