Cuffe: Don’t touch our parks!

The Green Party today stated that parks are a crucial part of Dublin’s amenities and deserve protection from development.

It stated that the Chief Executive Owen Keegan must concentrate his efforts at obtaining funding from Central Government for lands that are already zoned for housing. The Party said that there was ample room for development in the right areas, and that the Dublin City Development plan states that there are circa 210 hectares remaining to be developed in housing zones, with the potential to provide for 34,000 residential units.

However it did say that there are many sites zoned Z10, 12, 14 and 15 within the City Development plan (mixed-use, residential, rejuvenation and institutional) that may have development potential.

Speaking today, Green Party Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said: “Our parks are the lungs for the city. Quality green spaces are vital in urban areas, and our Dublin parks are one of our greatest assets.

“Nevertheless it is worth looking at lands and sites where development could be considered in the future. It does seem odd that the Archbishop of Dublin has a 12 Hectare (30 acre) back garden just 1.3 kilometres (less than a mile) from Dublin’s O’Connell Street. It is also curious that the Broadstone bus station occupies a 10 Hectare (24 acre) inner city site that will have two Luas stations opening before Christmas. Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines also occupies a large 15 Hectare (40 acre) site in Rathmines. There are also significant rail-yards in the Docklands that could be rationalised to allow development to take place. However any proposal to change the uses of such sites would have to be very carefully considered.

“Everyone agrees that we need to stop urban sprawl, and bring life back to the centre of our towns and cities, but there is plenty of land to develop on, or housing capacity to be added, without threatening parks. We need higher density development on existing zoned lands.

“There is also huge potential for thousands of homes above shops in inner city Dublin. Tackling issues like vacancy and dereliction should also be a priority, and reducing bureaucracy that limits the Living City tax incentive scheme. There are plenty of better options available to tackle this housing crisis. Removing park spaces would damage the city in the long run.”

“Keegan’s kite-flying has attracted considerable attention, but if it focuses the Government mind on reducing red tape and tackling the housing crisis it may have been worthwhile.”

Issued 20th October 2017, uploaded 21st October 2017

Green Party: Budget focus on roads will lead to traffic chaos

The Green Party said today that the transport budget focus on roads will lead to traffic chaos, describing the allocation for sustainable travel in Budget 2018 as ‘crumbs from the table’.

Speaking today, Green Party Transport Spokesperson Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said: “There is an overwhelming focus on roads rather than sustainable transport in Budget 2018. Minister Ross will have a budget of over €2bn, but has only identified €3m for developing cycling projects. At a time when we are trying to tackle obesity and get people moving, walking and cycling are only receiving the crumbs of the transport cake.

“More motorways and bypasses will feed more cars to Dublin and further clog up the M50. We should be speeding up rail speeds, and expanding our bus network, but the Bus Connects project in Dublin is in danger of trying to do more, with less of a budget.

“There needs to be a serious re-balancing of the Government’s transport priorities, or we’re facing traffic chaos.”

Issued 11th October 2017, uploaded 21st october 2017

Green Party calls for bikes to be facilitated by Luas Cross City

According to media reports, cyclists will be banned from key city streets

The Green Party has expressed concern at media reports that cyclists will be banned from parts of the Luas Cross City route. It has stated that cyclists should be accommodated on the Luas cross city corridor.

Councillor Ciarán Cuffe, the Green Party’s Transport Spokesperson and chair of Dublin City Council’s Transportation Committee said today:

“I believe that a combination of proper signage and road markings can assist in ensuring that cyclists share space along this vital transport corridor. Banning bikes from city-centre streets is a laughable policy in 2017.

“I have sought a meeting with the Luas Cross City project Manager Ciarán Browne as it is crucial that we encourage cycling rather than ban bikes from key cross-city streets.

“It appears that Minister Shane Ross and his officials are out of touch with the cycling revolution that is happening around the world. He needs to provide the funding and leadership to make cycling easier and safer.”

Issued 9th October 2017, last updated  21st October 2017