The Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) 2016-2035 was adopted by Government in 2016 which covers Dublin, Meath, Kildare, and Wicklow. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has now commenced a review of the strategy. This review has been called to assess how the current plan is being implemented and will help guide a strategy update that will set out a transport infrastructure and service investment framework for Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow until 2042.
The Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland (CTTC), which is the representative body for Ireland’s coach touring companies, and commercial bus operators, has made a submission after consulting with the membership of the organisation. All proposals contained within it are provided with the ambition of having the industry-led voice heard during the review process.
Amid concerns of a drift towards private transport alternatives post Covid-19 pandemic, it is imperative that the thrust towards greater use of public transport is maintained as part of the GDA transport strategy to 2035. With CTTC members continuing to invest circa €80 million in fleet and technology on an annual basis, national investment in the sector must equally be maintained and increased in the coming decades as society seeks to reduce the dependence on cars in cities and towns.
A recent study noted that it is crucial that public transport in Ireland is protected and supported from the economic after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and view the value and utility of such a service as positively contributing to the long-term sustainability goals of the country.
Continued capital investment in public transport is required to facilitate a modal shift towards environmentally sustainable and reliable forms of transport post the Covid-19 era and, this regard, the CTTC is ready to meet the challenges with Government support in the decades to come.
Prioritising bus services over private cars impacts and ultimately benefits all on an equal and sustainable basis. Capital outlay is minimal and the benefits to society are many. A study done by the city of Copenhagen linked a healthier lifestyle with a lower mortality rate, a happier disposition, and more productivity at work with an increase in public transport. Younger generations prefer walkable communities over sprawl, and aim to live around a range of shops, restaurants, libraries, parks, and a mix of housing styles such as apartments and houses. In addition, tens of thousands of non-drivers, such as children and young adults, remain stuck in motor car dominated suburban locations where they must depend on others for lifts. The GDA transport strategy must continue to expand its orbital routes, reaching out into the suburbs and establishing new routes in the commuter counties of Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. Better bus services also ease the congestion that slows down commutes and shrinks labour markets, hurting the poor most.
The CTTC is committed to working with the NTA and other Government bodies to channel the public’s sense of urgency that public transit is a national priority into a range of positive actions over the lifetime of this transport strategy.
See the full submission here https://cttc.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/CTTC-Submission-Dublin-Transport.pdf