Dáil debates

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Dublin Transport: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

 

The following motion was moved by Deputy John Lahart on Wednesday, 10 May 2017:

Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:

2:30 pm

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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I must now deal with a postponed division relating to amendment No. 1 to the motion regarding Dublin transport. On Wednesday, 10 May 2017, on the question, "That the amendment to the motion be agreed to," a division was claimed. In accordance with Standing Order 70(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 49; Níl, 87; Staon, 1.


Tellers: Tá, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Michael Moynihan and John Lahart.

Maria Bailey, Seán Barrett, Pat Breen, Colm Brophy, Richard Bruton, Peter Burke, Catherine Byrne, Joe Carey, Michael Collins, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Simon Coveney, Michael D'Arcy, Jim Daly, John Deasy, Pat Deering, Regina Doherty, Paschal Donohoe, Andrew Doyle, Bernard Durkan, Damien English, Alan Farrell, Peter Fitzpatrick, Charles Flanagan, Brendan Griffin, John Halligan, Simon Harris, Martin Heydon, Heather Humphreys, Seán Kyne, Michael Lowry, Helen McEntee, Finian McGrath, Mattie McGrath, Joe McHugh, Tony McLoughlin, Josepha Madigan, Kevin Moran, Eoghan Murphy, Hildegarde Naughton, Tom Neville, Michael Noonan, Kate O'Connell, Fergus O'Dowd, John Paul Phelan, Michael Ring, Noel Rock, Shane Ross, David Stanton, Leo Varadkar.

Níl

Gerry Adams, Bobby Aylward, Mick Barry, Richard Boyd Barrett, John Brady, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, Tommy Broughan, James Browne, Pat Buckley, Joan Burton, Mary Butler, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Jack Chambers, Lisa Chambers, Joan Collins, Niall Collins, Ruth Coppinger, Barry Cowen, Seán Crowe, David Cullinane, John Curran, Clare Daly, Pearse Doherty, Stephen Donnelly, Timmy Dooley, Dessie Ellis, Martin Ferris, Seán Fleming, Kathleen Funchion, Seán Haughey, Séamus Healy, Brendan Howlin, Billy Kelleher, Alan Kelly, Gino Kenny, Martin Kenny, John Lahart, James Lawless, Marc MacSharry, Charlie McConalogue, Mary Lou McDonald, Michael McGrath, John McGuinness, Catherine Martin, Micheál Martin, Denise Mitchell, Aindrias Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Imelda Munster, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Catherine Murphy, Eugene Murphy, Carol Nolan, Eoin Ó Broin, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Éamon Ó Cuív, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Darragh O'Brien, Jonathan O'Brien, Jim O'Callaghan, Willie O'Dea, Fiona O'Loughlin, Louise O'Reilly, Frank O'Rourke, Jan O'Sullivan, Maureen O'Sullivan, Willie Penrose, Thomas Pringle, Maurice Quinlivan, Anne Rabbitte, Brendan Ryan, Eamon Scanlon, Seán Sherlock, Róisín Shortall, Brendan Smith, Bríd Smith, Niamh Smyth, Brian Stanley, Peadar Tóibín, Robert Troy, Mick Wallace.

Staon

Michael Harty.

Amendment declared lost.

2:40 pm

Photo of Imelda MunsterImelda Munster (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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2 o’clock

I move amendment No. 2:

To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:

“recognises that:— transport and travel trends within the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) are unsustainable, congestion is increasing, transport emissions are growing, economic competitiveness

is suffering and quality of life for commuters and inhabitants is declining;

— the capacity of the Dublin Region as a destination for living, visiting and for locating and doing business is being seriously undermined;

— significant actions are required to increase capacity and usability of public transport, to better manage traffic during peak periods and to reduce the private car share dependence by commuting traffic especially;

— the population in the GDA is expected to grow by 22 per cent to 1.8 million by 2030 and by 26 per cent to 700,000 in the Mid-East Region alone including Kildare, Meath and Wicklow and increasing investment in rail services including the Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) expansion, as well as vital bus services including Bus Rapid Transit, is absolutely essential;

— this Government lacks a comprehensive vision and strategic plan for how to cope with future public transport demand in the core Dublin City Area as well as the GDA;

— previous Governments and the current Government have neglected infrastructural development, particularly in regional areas, but also in the GDA;

— many previous infrastructural framework plans were shelved or cut short due to lack of funding in the past decade, in particular the National Spatial Strategy; and

— the Capital Plan is emblematic of the lack of ambition, vision and forward planning for public transport;acknowledges:— that many of the main arterial routes into Dublin, including the M50, either have already reached operational capacity or are expected to reach capacity in the near future;

— the lack of preparation and forward planning for the impact of the Luas Cross City, including the impact of its construction on city trade and mobility;

— the urgent need to increase the numbers and frequency of public buses from expanding suburban areas, in order to tackle capacity issues and relieve traffic congestion for commuters;

— that while expanding capacity on our motorway and primary road network is something we need to plan for in the future, recognises that traffic demand policies are essential to relieving congestion as will sustained increases in public transport investment;

— that transport bottlenecks and congestion are increasingly becoming a drag on growth and productivity in our cities as well as hindering wider regional development in large parts of the country;

— that despite the historically low cost of financing to deliver economically and socially critical infrastructure projects, this Government has produced no policy plans for how to mitigate transport infrastructure deficits;

that now is the time to:
— examine the feasibility of decreasing the timeline for building critical transport infrastructure like the DART Underground and Metro North;

— make vital improvements such as bus lane completions and removing ‘pinch points’ for Dublin buses;

— ensure priority signaling at junctions;

— continue to invest in real time passenger information, which will increase capacity and service reliability on public transport, make it easier for commuters to get to work and relieve congestion in our cities; and

— begin work with local authorities to identify suitable sites for park and ride facilities at key locations for commuters, strategically located next to public transport connections;
— that the Government has completely failed to mobilise additional investment in transport infrastructure available under the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), and of the EFSI transactions within the European Union, 6 per cent are in the transport sector, yet in Ireland there has not been a single transport project put forward by the Government to the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the €500 billion funding stream; and

— that the decision to cancel the DART Underground project, described by the National Transport Authority (NTA) as ‘the missing link’ in Ireland’s rail infrastructure, was short-sighted and a costly set-back for the liveability of the city, while the only large transport infrastructure contained in the Government’s Capital Plan, ‘the optimised Metro North’ proposal, could be fundamentally lacking capacity as it was recommended on the basis of reduced employment growth and passenger demand projections in 2013, which are no longer accurate; andcalls on the Government to:— commit to the retention of existing Dublin Bus routes and cessation of the tendering of routes;

— publish and fund a time-framed plan to make public transport fully accessible to people with disabilities, with a particular emphasis on DART stations, many of which require major upgrades;

— give a firm commitment to significantly increase annual investment in public transport, including funding to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) companies to improve attractiveness, reliability and integration of public transport and to commit to an increased spend in Budget 2018, and in subsequent Budgets during this Dáil term, to allow for investment in key projects;

— establish a new, dedicated Cycle Way Fund for bike-lanes and cycle-friendly infrastructure, Dublin Bike extensions, the rolling out of secure bike lockers and parking throughout the city as well as funding for pedestrianised ‘open streets’ initiatives to encourage cycling;

— earmark a portion of the Local Government Fund to annual resurfacing, maintenance and quality improvements in bike-lanes and road verges to enhance safety for cyclists;

— commit, as part of revisions to the Capital Plan, to bolster capital investment levels by securing funding agreements from the EIB for critical transport investments like the DART Underground and Metro North;

— increase bicycle-parking facilities at bus and train stations to allow for commuters to cycle from home to and from train and bus stations;

— commit to the creation of regional forums, akin to the Dublin Transport Authority Advisory Council which was provided for in the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008 and amending that Act if required to facilitate this across the State, to ensure there is joined up thinking in transport planning going forward, given that Act now governs the NTA which has remit over the entire State;

— ensure, via the NTA, longer term budgets for CIÉ companies, rather than annual allocations, in order that longer term planning can take place as budgets are known in advance to company management, making it possible for the transport companies to allocate resources to increase capacity as required, and upgrade equipment and services;

— examine the feasibility of the possible extension of Metro North to include commuter towns such as Balbriggan, Laytown and Drogheda;

— examine the feasibility of fast tracking the Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy, and further to that, the Outer Orbital ring road which has been postponed until after 2035, as per the Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy; and

— commit to setting specific commencement and completion time-frames for the commitments contained in this motion.”

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 40; Níl, 93; Staon, 5.


Tellers: Tá, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Denise Mitchell; Níl, Deputies Michael Moynihan and John Lahart.

Gerry Adams, John Brady, Tommy Broughan, Pat Buckley, Joan Burton, Joan Collins, Seán Crowe, David Cullinane, Clare Daly, Pearse Doherty, Dessie Ellis, Martin Ferris, Kathleen Funchion, Séamus Healy, Brendan Howlin, Alan Kelly, Martin Kenny, Mary Lou McDonald, Catherine Martin, Denise Mitchell, Imelda Munster, Catherine Murphy, Carol Nolan, Eoin Ó Broin, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Jonathan O'Brien, Louise O'Reilly, Jan O'Sullivan, Maureen O'Sullivan, Willie Penrose, Thomas Pringle, Maurice Quinlivan, Brendan Ryan, Seán Sherlock, Róisín Shortall, Brian Stanley, Peadar Tóibín, Mick Wallace.

Níl

Bobby Aylward, Maria Bailey, Seán Barrett, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, Pat Breen, Colm Brophy, James Browne, Richard Bruton, Peter Burke, Mary Butler, Catherine Byrne, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Seán Canney, Joe Carey, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Jack Chambers, Lisa Chambers, Michael Collins, Niall Collins, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Simon Coveney, Barry Cowen, John Curran, Michael D'Arcy, Jim Daly, John Deasy, Pat Deering, Regina Doherty, Stephen Donnelly, Paschal Donohoe, Timmy Dooley, Andrew Doyle, Bernard Durkan, Damien English, Alan Farrell, Peter Fitzpatrick, Charles Flanagan, Seán Fleming, Brendan Griffin, John Halligan, Simon Harris, Seán Haughey, Danny Healy-Rae, Martin Heydon, Heather Humphreys, Billy Kelleher, Seán Kyne, John Lahart, James Lawless, Michael Lowry, Marc MacSharry, Charlie McConalogue, Helen McEntee, Finian McGrath, Mattie McGrath, Michael McGrath, John McGuinness, Joe McHugh, Tony McLoughlin, Josepha Madigan, Micheál Martin, Kevin Moran, Aindrias Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Eoghan Murphy, Eugene Murphy, Hildegarde Naughton, Tom Neville, Michael Noonan, Éamon Ó Cuív, Darragh O'Brien, Jim O'Callaghan, Kate O'Connell, Willie O'Dea, Fergus O'Dowd, Fiona O'Loughlin, Frank O'Rourke, John Paul Phelan, Anne Rabbitte, Michael Ring, Noel Rock, Shane Ross, Eamon Scanlon, Brendan Smith, Niamh Smyth, David Stanton, Robert Troy, Leo Varadkar.

Staon

Mick Barry, Richard Boyd Barrett, Ruth Coppinger, Gino Kenny, Bríd Smith.

Amendment declared lost.

Photo of Bríd SmithBríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance)
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I move amendment No. 3:

To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:

“notes:— the failure of the Government to bring investment levels in Irish Rail, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann back to pre-recession levels;

— that this failure has contributed to an ongoing crisis in our public transport system, especially in Bus Éireann;

— that systemic under investment in public transport provision is contributing to growing traffic chaos and congestion;

— that between 2008 and 2015, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael led Governments cut subvention to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) by some 41 per cent;

— that a number of different finance streams are available to the State to both increase subvention levels to CIÉ companies and initiate major public transport infrastructure projects;

— that Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has €100 million in additional funds that could be released immediately to deal with any financial crisis in our public transport networks;

— that the continued reliance on road construction and the facilitating of private (for profit) transport companies is undermining both the provision of a coherent public transport policy and the existing semi-State bodies entrusted to provide this;

— that Dublin and the rest of the country require a radical programme of investment in public transport, in order to make our towns and cities sustainable and liveable and also to meet targets for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and tackle climate change;

— that the National Transport Authority (NTA) has operated to undermine existing semi-State companies and has facilitated private, for profit, operators by, for example, increasing seat capacity of lucrative inter city routes by over 100 per cent;

— that the proposals by the NTA to tender out 10 per cent of Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus routes to private operators will do nothing to increase public transport provision in Dublin or elsewhere; and

— that the NTA have refused to examine the earnings or conditions of workers in private companies and that their policy is resulting in a ‘race to the bottom’ for workers in public transport; and

calls on the Government to:

— immediately commit to bringing subvention levels in all three CIÉ companies to pre-crash levels by year end, and to a fundamental shift in transport policy that prioritises public transport provision in the years ahead;

— instruct the NTA to cease their plans to tender out routes currently operated by CIÉ companies;

— use the €100 million in additional TII funds to ensure all public transport services continue to operate and that planned cuts to routes in Bus Éireann are stopped;

— begin the process of disbanding the NTA and ensure that policies such as tendering of bus routes that rely on neoliberal ideologically driven agendas are abandoned; and

— ensure a new deal for public transport and cycling that will change the face of our towns and cities, by establishing a publically accountable and democratically controlled body that can oversee investment in CIÉ and public transport generally.”

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 10; Níl, 99; Staon, 28.


Tellers: Tá, Deputies Richard Boyd Barrett and Ruth Coppinger; Níl, Deputies Michael Moynihan and John Lahart.

Mick Barry, Richard Boyd Barrett, Joan Collins, Ruth Coppinger, Clare Daly, Séamus Healy, Gino Kenny, Catherine Martin, Thomas Pringle, Mick Wallace.

Níl

Bobby Aylward, Maria Bailey, Seán Barrett, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, Pat Breen, Colm Brophy, James Browne, Richard Bruton, Peter Burke, Joan Burton, Mary Butler, Catherine Byrne, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Joe Carey, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Jack Chambers, Lisa Chambers, Michael Collins, Niall Collins, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Simon Coveney, Barry Cowen, John Curran, Michael D'Arcy, Jim Daly, John Deasy, Pat Deering, Regina Doherty, Stephen Donnelly, Paschal Donohoe, Timmy Dooley, Andrew Doyle, Bernard Durkan, Damien English, Alan Farrell, Peter Fitzpatrick, Charles Flanagan, Seán Fleming, Brendan Griffin, John Halligan, Simon Harris, Seán Haughey, Danny Healy-Rae, Martin Heydon, Brendan Howlin, Heather Humphreys, Billy Kelleher, Alan Kelly, Seán Kyne, John Lahart, James Lawless, Michael Lowry, Marc MacSharry, Charlie McConalogue, Helen McEntee, Finian McGrath, Mattie McGrath, Michael McGrath, John McGuinness, Joe McHugh, Tony McLoughlin, Josepha Madigan, Micheál Martin, Kevin Moran, Aindrias Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Eoghan Murphy, Eugene Murphy, Hildegarde Naughton, Tom Neville, Michael Noonan, Éamon Ó Cuív, Darragh O'Brien, Jim O'Callaghan, Kate O'Connell, Willie O'Dea, Fergus O'Dowd, Fiona O'Loughlin, Frank O'Rourke, Jan O'Sullivan, Willie Penrose, John Paul Phelan, Anne Rabbitte, Michael Ring, Noel Rock, Shane Ross, Brendan Ryan, Eamon Scanlon, Seán Sherlock, Brendan Smith, Niamh Smyth, David Stanton, Robert Troy, Leo Varadkar.

Staon

Gerry Adams, John Brady, Tommy Broughan, Pat Buckley, Seán Crowe, David Cullinane, Pearse Doherty, Dessie Ellis, Martin Ferris, Kathleen Funchion, Michael Harty, Martin Kenny, Mary Lou McDonald, Denise Mitchell, Imelda Munster, Catherine Murphy, Carol Nolan, Eoin Ó Broin, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Jonathan O'Brien, Louise O'Reilly, Maureen O'Sullivan, Maurice Quinlivan, Róisín Shortall, Brian Stanley, Peadar Tóibín.

Amendment declared lost.

Motion put and declared carried.