Green fingerprints nowhere to be seen on new Public Transport Bill

24th September, 2009

Fine Gael Seanad Transport Spokesperson, Senator Paschal Donohoe today (Thursday) said the Green Party were obviously ‘missing in action’ during the drafting of the new Public Transport Bill as their influence on the key ‘Green’ issues of a directly elected Lord Mayor and proper planning is nowhere to be seen. The Bill was introduced in Seanad Éireann today.


“The Greens were obviously ‘as láthair’ on the days that the Public Transport Bill was being drafted as their fingerprints are nowhere to be seen on the legislation in relation to the direct election of a Lord Mayor and planning procedures; both issues they claim to be close to their heart.


“In May 2009 John Gormley announced that a directly elected Lord Mayor for Dublin would be the Chairperson of the Dublin Transport Authority (DTA). With this new Bill set to merge the DTA into the new National Transport Authority and no mention anywhere throughout the legislation of a directly elected Lord Mayor for Dublin we can deduce that either the Lord Mayor of Dublin’s office will have no role in transport planning or that he/ she will be the new Chairperson for the National Transport Authority. It would appear that the Greens were ‘missing in action’ during consultations over this issue which they loudly claim to champion.


“But it gets worse. The Green Party has championed the integration of land use and transport planning. However the proposed National Transport Authority has weaker powers in this area then the body it is replacing. The DTA had the ability to make observations and recommendations on area plans and development plans. The new body does not have this power. Again, where is the Green Party? I can only assume that they were asleep at the wheel when this Bill was being drafted.”