FG will oppose any Dublin Bus service cuts -Donohoe

13th January, 2009

Fine Gael Dublin-based Transport Spokesman Senator Paschal Donohoe has warned Transport Minister Noel Dempsey not to proceed with any cuts in Dublin Bus services after the company announced a 10% fleet cut.

“Years of neglect mean that Dublin is already one of the most poorly-served cities for public transport in Europe. Now, in the middle of a deep recession, Minister Dempsey is actually proposing cuts in Dublin Bus services.

“Minister Dempsey’s priority should have been to oversee long-overdue financial reforms within Dublin Bus. His failure to do so means passengers will now bear the brunt of cutbacks. “At the same time he has ensured that the State has retained its stranglehold on public transport services by restricting private sector operators to such an extent, it’s barely worth their while running services.

“Minister Dempsey and a succession of Fianna Fail Transport Ministers are responsible for the fact that Dublin commuters are almost entirely dependant on Dublin Bus services. For years Fianna Fáil has bowed to
vested interests and kept private operators out of the market. These operators could be in a position to step into the breech but now it is the everyday commuter that will suffer from reduced services due the lack of political leadership by Fianna Fail.

“Dublin is grinding to a half due to congestion. There are already serious doubts about a number of major infrastructure projects due to the Government’s mismanagement of the public finances. The bus network
can only become more important. “Fine Gael will therefore vigorously oppose any plans from Minister Dempsey to slash Dublin Bus services.”