New drive planned to make public transport more attractive


The “central objective” of the state’s next sustainable mobility policy will be to get people out of private cars and use public transport, cycling or walking, said the secretary general of the ministry of public transport. Transport.

Ken Spratt told the Oireachtas Transport Committee that the new policy will differ from the current Smarter Travel policy, which has similar goals, with an emphasis on doing “active travel” or using public transport. the most attractive option for travel.

Mr Spratt said that “the main objective of the new policy” will be to meet daily travel needs by making sustainable modes “the smarter and more attractive choice”.

He said that while the ministry is setting up an office for low-emission vehicles – likely within the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland – the shift to electric vehicles is part of the government’s climate change strategy, not part of the government’s strategy on climate change. the sustainable mobility policy.

He said active travel and public transportation options were not only the most environmentally friendly options, but also the most socially inclusive and economically accessible.

Guiding principles

Mr Spratt told the committee that the draft sustainable mobility policy centers on three guiding principles:

The first of these was Safe and Green Mobility, which will define “an ambitious and comprehensive set of actions for the decarbonization of public transport”.

The second was People Focused Mobility, which examines how to make sustainable mobility options accessible to everyone, especially people with reduced mobility.

The third principle was better integrated mobility which examines better sustainable integration of transport and land use planning, as well as the examination of intelligent transport solutions.

Mr Spratt said the ministry had released a full report on the consultation process for the new policy and that “we are in the process of finalizing the revised policy.”

Asked by committee chairman Kieran O’Malley where regional connectivity, roads and arrangements for those wishing to keep a car were part of the government’s plans, Mr Spratt said another policy was being worked out. formulation by government.

He said that this policy, the National Investment Framework for Transport in Ireland (Nifti) had four priorities; regional access; protection and renewal of transport assets; mobility of people and goods in urban areas and decarbonisation.

Mr. O’Donnell replied that the provision for roads did not appear to be mentioned. Mr O’Donnell told Mr Spratt that many people were considering opting for electric vehicles, but were concerned that by driving “across the country” they might not be able to charge quickly and get home.

‘Very nervous’

On the move to electric vehicles, Mr. Spratt said the answer to the “are we doing enough” question was “no”. He said that the charging infrastructure is important and he mentioned the installation of charging stations in apartment buildings, workplaces and tourist places and attractions.

Senator Timmy Dooly said the committee had heard a lot about buses and the replacement of private cars, that there were not a number of buses that could meet all the demand for transportation from rural areas.

He said that at his own base in Kerry people were going to Tipperary; Galway; Shannon and Ennis among other places of work and “I don’t think we can put enough buses on the roads, quite frankly”. He said “people in rural Ireland get very nervous” when confronted with the language of sustainable travel.

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