Cuffe: Ross and Fitzgerald must tackle road deaths

The Green Party today called for Government action as a fourth cyclist dies in less than three weeks on Ireland’s roads.

It has called for a real commitment from Government to improve safety on Ireland’s roads for the most vulnerable road users – pedestrians and cyclists.

Green Party Transport Spokesperson Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said today: “Tackling cycling deaths must be placed higher in the Government’s transport priorities. Minister Ross should reverse the cuts in walking and cycling that have been implemented over the last two years. There was a 21% reduction in walking and cycling expenditure in 2016 and there is projected to be an 18% reduction for 2017. These cuts cannot be justified. Instead he should allocate twenty per cent of transport funding to walking and cycling measures. Too many cycling projects that would save lives have been stalled due to lack of funding.

“The Minister for Justice must also ensure that An Garda Síochána take speeding seriously. As the Garda Commissioner struggles to justify controversies over penalty notices and the exaggeration of Garda drink driving statistics it is time for action to make our roads safer. Minister Fitzgerald must ensure that speed limits are adequately enforced, that cycle lanes are kept free of parked cars, and that minimum passing distances between cyclists and other vehicles are enshrined in law.

“More and more people are walking and cycling in Dublin, and the Government must ensure that are roads are safe for all road users. That means enforcing the law, and building new safe segregated cycle lanes on major roads without delay. Bodies such as the Dublin Cycling Campaign have presented clear and achievable demands for short-term action. It is time for Minister Ross to act.”

ENDS

Issued 28Mar17,page last updated 28Mar17

Minister Ross ‘turning his back on rural Ireland’

The Green Party said that Bus Éireann cuts are being used by Minister for Transport Shane Ross to subsidise roads and motorways, and will penalise bus users in rural Ireland in favour of motorists.

The Party’s Transport Spokesperson Cllr Ciarán Cuffe said today: “As the economy recovers Minister Ross is subsidising motorways at the expense of bus services. Rural bus services are a vital link to rural towns and villages, and it is unfair that roads funding increases while funding for bus services falls. Ross talked up the need for reform in opposition, but in Government he is presiding over significant cuts that will penalise bus users.

“Bus services in Ireland receive one of the lowest levels of subsidy in Europe, and any cuts will impact on poorer communities outside of Dublin. It is disappointing that Minister Ross seems incapable of providing joined-up thinking that would look at transport spending in education; health and rural areas and implements reforms that could consolidate and improve services for the consumer. Rather than reform he is opting for cuts that will penalise workers and passengers alike.”

ENDS

Issued 27Feb17, last updated 28Mar17

Green Party call for inquiry into Mountjoy Square fires

The Green Party today called for an inquiry into the safety of buildings on Dublin’s Mountjoy Square, as it emerged that last Monday’s fire in No.’s 1 and 2 Mountjoy Square was a near carbon-copy of a similar fire ten years ago in which 35 people were rescued from the same buildings in similar circumstances.

The Green Party’s Councillor Ciarán Cuffe who represents the North Inner City ward said: “I am concerned that near identical fires have occurred in the same two buildings a decade apart. It is a miracle that no-one was killed in either fire. I will be seeking a full report from our Chief Executive Owen Keegan on what actions were taken by the City Council subsequent to the 2006 fire, and whether statutory notices were issued, or complied with.

“We need to ensure that all landlords are fully aware of, and compliant with their statutory responsibilities, and ensure in particular that over-crowding does not occur. Local residents have raised concerns about the condition of these, and similar buildings in the past. I want be reassured by City Council officials that they have responded appropriately to these concerns, and that they will redouble their efforts to tackle planning and fire safety concerns in the future.”

Mr. Cuffe has submitted the following Motion for consideration at the March meeting of Dublin City Council:

“That the City Council investigate and report on all planning enforcement, fire and other notices issued in regard to No.’s 1 and 2 Mountjoy Square given that fires resulting in the hospitalisation of residents occurred on 27th December 2006 and 20th February 2017. This inquiry and report shall give details of all complaints received relating to the building, investigate whether the building was over-crowded, and in compliance with all regulations, and provide details of any Section 59 Endangerment Notices issued under the Planning and Development Acts.”

ENDS

Note

Link to RTÉ report on 20th February 2017 fire: https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0221/854178-eight-people-rescued-from-burning-building-in-dubl/

Link to RTÉ report on 28th December 2006 fire: http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/1228/84036-fire/

Issued 24Feb17, last updated 28Mar17