Politics

Efforts will be made to accelerate BusConnects project – Ryan


Efforts will be made to accelerate the delivery of the €2 billion BusConnects public transport system, according to Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan.

He outlined his ambition for faster delivery after Cabinet signed off on the next phase of the project.

Under the draft Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy, implementation of the plan is slated to continue into 2024.

Mr Ryan said Cabinet agreed the project will proceed to the next phase which will see the main 230km of bus corridors and 200km of cycling infrastructure go ahead. There was also an agreement on a new ticketing system going to the purchase and contracting stage.

Putting the plans in the context of the battle against climate change Mr Ryan, the Green Party leader, said: “We need to radically switch away from reliance on imported fossil fuels and the switch to public transport and to cycling is going to be a key part of that.”

He said BusConnects has seen “really extensive public consultation from 2018 onwards” and it benefited from that.

“It is going to progress to the next phase and one of the things in this area . . . I’ll be looking to do is to see if we can do it quicker, to get through planning and to start introducing elements.”

Mr Ryan said he wants it done “on a real accelerated basis as part of the transition we need to make”.

He said some key corridors have already been introduced in Dublin and he wants to see the same done in relation to BusConnects projects in Cork, Galway Waterford and Limerick.

He pointed to measures introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic as examples of what can be done, such as pedestrianising several streets in Cork and the creation of the coastal cycle route in Dún Laoghaire.

“What I’ll be looking to do in all five of our cities is to implement BusConnects or elements of BusConnects quickly so that public transport really starts to flow, and use this time coming out of Covid to make sure we don’t just see all the traffic returning and our streets being clogged and burning Russian oil.”

He had earlier pointed out that Russian president Vladimir Putin had used revenue from fossil fuels to wage war in Ukraine.



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