Friday, 30 January 2009

Press Release - Looney Lashes Bus Cutbacks, Calls for Clarification

Dermot Looney, the Labour Party candidate in June's local elections in Tallaght Central, has slammed cutbacks in Dublin Bus routes, claiming they will hit those on low incomes, the elderly and the immobile hardest. He has also sought clarification on whether services local to Greenhills, Tallaght and the Dublin 6w area will be affected under the restructuring of bus routes and frequency.

"As a daily bus user for many years I know how important a reliable, well-funded Dublin bus service is to local people – particularly those on low incomes, older people and those who are disabled," said Looney. "The government's decision to cut jobs at Dublin Bus and the ensuing confusion about affected services means those people, who are being hit hardest by the recession in the first place, now face the prospect of being left without bus routes or with reduced services."

"I have written to Dublin Bus seeking clarifications on how cutbacks will affect the 15a, 17, 19a, 50, 56a, 77, 77a, 77x, 77n and 150 routes."

"We need to ensure that transport services are accessible to all, so I have also asked for a bus shelter to be put in place at the top of 'the Dip' in Greenpark, as well as for one to be re-installed opposite the Cuckoo's Nest in Kilnamanagh. I have also asked Dublin Bus to consider a feeder bus to the Luas line from Greenhills, where so many older people are reliant on public transport."

"It is particularly galling for the Green Party Ministers to go along with these cuts. Labour recognises that the social, environmental and economic infrastructure of our local communities is dependent on a stable, well-funded and effective public transport system. Simply put, public transport is the best way to curb vehicle emissions and reduce our carbon footprint."

"Perhaps the Greens expect us all to be able to afford hybrid cars, but they and their Fianna Fáil masters are clearly out of touch with working people by carrying through with a slash-and-burn policy at Dublin Bus."

"As a Labour candidate, I am committed to a well-funded, effective and affordable Dublin Bus service in public ownership, serving all communities in the Dublin area, and acting in an integrated manner with other public transport services in the region."