26m allocated for Sustainable Transport in GDA in 2015
In time honoured fashion the Minister for Transport Tourism & Sport (DTTAS) has issued a ‘Good News’ press release early in the New Year, this year announcing an allocation of €25.93 million for sustainable transport projects in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) - http://www.dttas.ie/press-releases/2015/%E2%82%AC25m-allocated-sustainab… - But what do these figures really mean, and how do they compare to other transport allocations and to previous years!?
When DTTAS New Year press releases on sustainable transport are compared over the past 3 years, the ‘Good News’ amounts announced have decreased year on year from €42million in 2013, to €32million in 2014, to the above figure of €26million for this year. So…..is funding for sustainable transport on the wane, despite the Government’s and Local Authorities’ lip service to the mantra of reducing CO2 emissions and promoting alternative modes of travel!? It would certainly seem so, and Dublin Cycling Campaign are aware of staffing constraints in all Local Authorities, which have hindered the progress of projects in the sustainable transport area.
It is also noticeable, when examining the figures year on year, how many of the same projects remain on the list, often due to allocated funding not being spent in the previous year. We need to have a system whereby it is possible to transparently examine projected expenditures against actual out-turns. It is also very clear that far greater expenditure continues to be allocated to road ‘improvement’ projects rather than committing to more sustainable projects, which invariably provide a greater return on investment. This is borne out by accepted international studies.
When budgets of €515million for the Tuam Bypass, €126million for Newland’s Cross, and €215million for New Ross Bypass are compared even to the largest sustainable transport project in the State, LUAS Cross City, whose overall budget of €368million, it would appear that government priorities are clearly aligned with the road transport lobby rather than sustainable transport. This year’s announced investment of €25.93 is merely a drop in the ocean compared to that allocated for roads projects, which will help to increase our carbon emissions. Greater resources and investment need to be allocated to sustainable projects than heretofore, to support a move to lesser CO2 emissions, and to provide real sustainable transport options for the Irish people.
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