“Ireland has one of the highest rates of car usage in the whole of Europe, at 84 %. This hasn’t happened by accident – it’s down to the longstanding neglect of investment in public transport by successive governments.”

The Social Democrats today said the government must shift gear when it comes to the National Development Plan to prioritise public transport and cycling ahead of roads expenditure.

Commenting on today’s report by the National Economic and Social Council which proposes ‘transport-orientated development’ at key urban locations to end the dominance of cars, the party’s co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said:

“Ireland has one of the highest rates of car usage in the whole of Europe, at 84 %. This hasn’t happened by accident – it’s down to the longstanding neglect of investment in public transport by successive governments.

“Today’s NESC report shows that leading European cities in France, the Netherlands and Germany are much more liveable because new housing developments are deliberately designed alongside quality infrastructure to make it easier for people to use public transport, cycle or walk to work or school.

“The National Development Plan was a missed opportunity to plan for this kind of sustainable mobility in urban areas. The government needs to shift gear and redraw the plan so that public transport and cycling are prioritised. The Social Democrats will bring a motion to the Dáil next week calling on the government to recognise that the declaration of a Climate Emergency by the House requires significant revision of the NDP as well as the National Planning Framework.

“The Social Democrats’ 19 newly elected councillors are committed to working to expand public transport services in our communities. We want to build not just homes, but sustainable communities in liveable towns and cities.”

ENDS

6th June 2019