- BusConnects plan would let down communities in the North County if introduced -
Local Fianna Fáil TD and Housing Spokesperson , Darragh O’Brien has said that the BusConnects plan to transform Dublin Bus services would leave residents in Fingal without essential direct routes and decrease the frequency of many others in the county.
The Deputy was speaking in Dáil Éireann during yesterday’s debate on his party’s Private Members Business motion calling for a review of the plan and for amendments to be made to better support North Dublin bus passengers.
“I want to be very clear that there are positive aspects of this plan including the investment of €1.2 billion which is undoubtedly needed to improve the creaking public transport network in our capital city. That being said there are some valid public concerns regarding the BusConnects proposals.
“Dublin Fingal has a population of just below 300,000 people – thousands of those people are commuters.
“The number 33 bus which currently serves the major growth areas of Balbriggan, Rush, Lusk and Skerries is to be scrapped. The existing direct buses connecting Donabate, Skerries and Kinsealy to the city centre will be shelved.
Direct bus services from Malahide will be reduced by 25%, while Seabury will be left without a direct bus into the city entirely.
“These potential dramatic and regressive changes are causing fear among Fingal resident. That was most apparent at each of the public meeting I have held across the county. This is a quality of life issue. It is about how people get to work, college, hospital appointments and school.
“If the BusConnects plan as it stands was to be implemented in the morning, it would be an unmitigated disaster for services on many routes.
“Now that our party motion has passed in Dáil Éireann I am hopeful that the final BusConnects plan presented following public consultation will better reflect the transport needs of Fingal communities,” he concluded.
-Government has launched six separate housing plans since 2011-
Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson, Darragh O’Brien TD has said the Government’s repeated announcements of housing plans are causing publicity fatigue among those most in need of a home.
Deputy O’Brien was commenting following this morning’s launch of a new land agency that aims to build landbanks across public and private lands for housing development. The agency forms part of the Project 2040 plan announced last February.
Many of the schemes have already been previously announced as part of the six separate housing plans Fine Gael has launched since 2011 Construction 2020, Social Housing Strategy 2020, Re-Building Ireland 2016, 2012 Capital Plan, 2015 Capital Plan & 2018 National Development Plan
He said, “This new agency bears a lot of similarity to the Land Aggregation Scheme set up in 2010 and the role of the Housing Agency subsequently set up in 2012. This begs the question will these new agency actual deliver new units or is it simply old wine in new bottles?
“The Government is publicity rich and delivery poor. All the while, ordinary people are left struggling to buy their own home or languishing on public housing waiting lists. We have all grown tired of the years of announcements of claims to overcome this crisis in housing.
“For the Government’s own target of delivering one third affordable homes to be met, it must be backed up by an Affordable Housing Purchase Scheme.
“This means providing homes in the areas most affected by the lack of affordability, at a cost of €160,000. These houses should be available foremost to those with an income between €30,000- €80,000 given that this is the bracket struggling to afford homes in places like Dublin and Cork.
“Fianna Fáil is committed to pressing for such a comprehensive scheme in the upcoming budget.” Deputy O’Brien concluded.