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75:25 Transport Vision

75:25 Transport Vision

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Published by: greenparty_ie on Feb 15, 2011
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75:25 RANSPORT T VISION

The Green Party’s 10-point plan for people-focussed, low-emissions transport. vote.greenparty.ie

RENEWING IRELAND ON FEB 25TH VOTE GREEN

Introduction Recognition of a changing energy landscape must be at the heart of investment decisions in the transport sector. Future governments will be faced with twin energy challenges: a decreasing supply and an increasing cost of oil, and stricter limits on the amount of greenhouse gases we emit. It is vital therefore that environmentally sustainable choices are made now to ensure Ireland's long term energy security and deliver a sustainable transport system The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has charted the significant rise in energy use in the transport sector1. Energy use grew by 181% from 1990 to 2007 with transport accounting for 43% of total energy demand. Over a similar time period the EPA estimates transport related greenhouse gas emissions increased by 165% between 1990 and 2006. While these rises have tapered as a result of the recession and less goods and people being transported, it is vital that the underlying trends of high oil dependency be addressed. Ninety nine percent of our transport energy use in 2009 was dependent on oil products, all of which were imported. We have a high dependence on the private car as a mode of transport. We also have a legacy of poor planning and urban sprawl that will leave us highly vulnerable to a sustained rise in oil prices. It is against this backdrop that the Green Party advocates investment in environmentally sustainable transport modes. This means investing in public transport rather than building new high spec roads. It means proper planning over urban sprawl and championing carbon free means of travel such as cycling and walking in our towns and cities. The Green Party in Government commenced that shift with the prioritisation of the Smarter Travel Policy, the introduction of a robust planning framework, reform of the bus network and the establishment of the National Transport Authority. Our new economic reality also impacts on how our transport investment is planned for. Under the National Recovery Plan, the capital allocation for transport has been reduced to €4.8bn for 2010 - 2014, down from the €6.8bn envisaged under the Infrastructural Investment Priorities. Subsidies to CIE for buses and trains have been similarly reduced. In the context of doing more with less the Green Party sets out its Ten Point Plan for a sustainable, energy secure transport system that will meet the needs of future generations for years to come. 1. Reprioritising Transport 21 The economic growth projections on which Transport 21 were set are not achievable. It is the Green Party’s view that the programme will therefore have to be radically reorganised to match both a new budget and a changed future energy landscape. Reducing our dependency on imported oil and providing a long term sustainable transport network will be central to any future transport investment decisions of the Green Party in Government.

1

http://www.seai.ie/Publications/Statistics_Publications/EPSSU_Publications/Energy_in_Transport/EPS SU_Transport_Rpr_Fnl_Dec07.pdf

Such an investment must be viewed not just in terms in the provision of alternative modes of commuter transport, but as protecting the Irish transport sector against sharp rises in the price of oil. There needs therefore to be an urgent investment in transport solutions that are low carbon and sustainable. 2. Investment in Public, not Private, Transport The majority of our capital investing in coming years must focus on public transport. There have been significant improvements to Ireland’s road network in the last five years, with motorways linking our main cities and towns. 76% of Transport 21 funding to date has been invested in roads, with only 24% going to public transport. The Green Party will reverse this trend, investing in public transport over roads by a ratio of 3:1, and prioritising major labour intensive public transport projects such as Metro North and the Dart Interconnector. 3. Improving our Rail Network Let’s speed up our Intercity trains. A modern, well run, rail system is vital to our economic recovery. We will continue to build on the significant investment in the rail network that was a feature of our term in Government, with the opening of three new rail lines and the upgrading of rolling stock. A continued investment of €100m per annum in the railway network is necessary to ensure it can compete with the motorway system. Reducing journey times on Intercity routes through improved signalling, junction and track improvements and the separation of fast and slow services should be the focus of investment in the coming years. The Green Party will:
• • • •

Prioritise the construction of Metro North. Prioritise the delivery of the DART Underground Interconnector, advancing planning and preparatory works. Advance Phase 2 and progress planning for Phase 3 of the Western Rail Corridor. Advance project planning for the Navan Rail Project.

In addition, we will focus on:
• • •

• •

Re-examining the potential for passenger services through the Phoenix Park Tunnel in the short term while the Interconnector is being planned. Adopting the Community Rail Partnership approach to run rural and lightly used rail lines such as Rosslare – Waterford, as opposed to closing them. Developing a new management, planning and marketing strategy aimed at enticing new rail freight business in order to revitalise the industry and open up freight services to competition to provide a more reliable and efficient service. Introducing Real Time Passenger Information at all railway stations and halts. Promote integrated car hire and taxi booking at all mainline rail stations

4. A Smart, Reliable Bus Service in our Towns and Cities The Green Party’s time in Government has seen significant investment in bus reliability through the purchase of 500 new buses, the installation of Quality Bus Corridors and bus priority schemes. We also invested in the roll out of Automatic Vehicle Locators to enable Real-Time Passenger Information. The Green Party intends to:
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• • •

Maintain current subvention to Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann to prevent further price increases. Prioritise the rapid roll-out of Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) to over 500 bus stops in Dublin, making this information available on SMS and the Internet. We will extend this RTPI service to bus stops in towns and cities across the country. Continue the reform of the Dublin Bus Network, following on from the successful first phases of Network Direct, improve bus efficiency and reduce costs Develop an integrated rural transport network, run by the National Transport Authority. Maintain investment in bus priority measures such as Quality Bus Corridors (QBCs), to prioritise rapid bus transport in towns and cities. Deliver of an integrated ticketing system across all forms of bus and rail transport in the Greater Dublin Area, to assist commuters in ease of access to the public transport system. Pilot the introduction of transferable bus tickets at weekends and “flat fares” to increase bus patronage.

5. Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit In Government, the Green Party has overseen the extension of the Red Line Luas to the Docklands the Green Line to Cherrywood, with the Red Line to Citywest due to open soon. The Green Party will progress planning for the Luas cross-city link, linking the two existing Luas lines with each other in the City Centre and extending to the new DIT Campus at Grangegorman and the Maynooth Rail line. This will have an overall effect of integrating much of Dublin’s public transport services. Following the public transport feasibility studies for regional cities, the Green Party favours the promotion of Bus Rapid Transit corridors as the best interim solution for public transport in the regional cities, as well as in Dublin. Bus Rapid Transit involves the provision of high quality, dedicated bus corridors that combine the efficiency and reliability of light rail with the lower costs of bus infrastructure. Bus Rapid Transit should be combined with increased availability of park and ride locations and effective city centre traffic management. 6. Safer Roads and Cleaner Cars Rather than building new roads, resources should now be targeted at maintaining the existing network to achieve better value for money and improve road safety. The Green Party would therefore not advance new road schemes as part of the next Government and would instead channel funding to maintain and repair the existing road network, providing for safety upgrade works where necessary.

Through the motor tax system, the Green Party will incentivise the purchase of low emission vehicles and promote eco efficient driving. We will promote Car Sharing and the expansion of Park & Ride facilities for areas still out of reach of public transport in the immediate future. The Green Party has set in motion an ambitious plan for Electric Vehicles, with achievable targets of 10% of vehicles on our roads to be electric by 2020. We would maintain supports such as VRT rebates and grant aid to promote this technology. 7. Carbon Free Transport: Cycling and Walking Achieving a reduction in the amount of private cars in our towns and cities will require a significant shift towards the bicycle as a means of transport for short journeys. The successes of both the Cycle to Work tax incentive scheme and the Dublin Bikes Scheme are illustrative of the huge public enthusiasm for cycling. Building on the success of our initiatives in government, the Green Party will harness this enthusiasm for cycling by making it a safe and realistic mode of transport. The Green Party will:

• • •

Support Dublin City Council in increasing the number of bicycles within the Dublin Bikes Scheme and work with the relevant local authorities to introduce a GalwayBike, CorkBike & LimerickBike Scheme. Introduce a 'hierarchy of care' system similar to that in Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands, which gives motorists a greater legal responsibility for the safety of vulnerable road users. Plan for and implement a new national cycle network to provide safe commuting routes into urban centres and promote both local and long distance recreational cycling. Engage with Local Authorities to ensure that cycle facilities such as bicycle lanes and bicycle parking are maintained regularly and kept free from parked vehicles. Progress key city cycle routes such as the Bray to Balbriggan (Sutton to Sandycove) cycle route in Dublin and an Oranmore to Barna track in Galway. Introduce cycle training in schools as part of the curriculum. Continue to develop a National Walking Policy with provision of safe pedestrian routes linked, where appropriate, with public transport services, at its core Promote the construction and enlargement of footpaths, proper drainage, traffic calming and the prioritising of pedestrians at traffic lights.

8. Connecting Rural Ireland An integrated, connected rural transport network is essential to providing public transport access to those living outside of our major towns and cities. Recognising the poor planning legacy which has led to significant sprawl, the Green Party will:

Retain funding for the Rural Transport Scheme and work with transport providers for an integrated rural transport network to ensure that all

• •

• •

communities have at least a minimum daily service, proportionate to their population and connecting where feasible with other transport modes. Coordinate existing transport resources more effectively through the National Transport Authority. Work with Iarnrod Éireann to focus more management attention on rural railway lines. Apply the Community Rail Partnership approach to the marketing of rural rail lines and to link with the Rural Transport Programme. Encourage the clustering of residential development beside existing villages. Streamline funding from the HSE, the Department of Education, the Dept Community, Equality and Rural Affairs to integrate rural bus services and avoid duplication of services.

9. Sustainable Transport Towns In recent years increased car use has led to the domination of our urban areas by parked cars and traffic. It is time to reclaim our streets and promote new thinking on traffic management. The Green Party will support and encourage towns that wish to take the lead on sustainability. Best practice in sustainable transport will be promoted through grant assistance for cities and towns that demonstrate leadership in smart transport solutions. This will build on the existing SmarterTravel Demonstration Project Fund and provide funding and assistance over a five year period. Measures may include the following:
• • • •

Car free zones in town centres on particular days. Proposals for walking and cycling hubs. Wider footpaths, seating and tree planting. Smart phones that identify healthier transport options.

Promoting Home-Zones People are more important than cars. While road humps have been used in recent years to slow down traffic, it is now time to move on to the use of more sophisticated integrated traffic calming measures rather than provided as an add-on measure. Countries such as Germany and the Netherlands lead the way in the use of homezones that calm traffic and create living streets. Home Zones work through the physical alteration of streets and roads in an area. These alterations force motorists to drive with greater care and at lower speeds. They provide for a range of measures including:
• • • •

30kph speed limits Zebra crossings Integrated traffic calming Use of residential streets for children’s outdoor play

The Sustainable Transport Act will integrate these measures into policy-making.

10. A Sustainable Transport Act Land-use and transport planning requires joined up thinking. The Green Party in Government has reformed the planning system. We have delivered a solid legislative platform for efficient transport planning, including a new Planning Act that ends the reckless zoning of the past and specifically recognises the Smarter Travel policy. We oversaw the creation of a National Transport Authority to ensure that local authorities act in the wider national interest and curb suburban sprawl. We also introduced a Public Transport Regulation Act that puts the commuter’s interest at the heart of bus licensing. As part of the next Government, the Green Party will:
• • •

Enact a Sustainable Transport Bill to give a legal basis to a hierarchy of sustainable travel modes. Merge the National Roads Authority and Rail Procurement Agency to provide a single-agency to efficiently deliver new sustainable transport projects. Progressively enhance the National Transport Authority role to strengthen its oversight role over Irish Rail, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann; and give it strategic transport and land-use planning powers to work in conjunction with local and regional authorities in the planning and delivery of public transport infrastructure outside of the Greater Dublin Area.

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