Government urged to scrap road plans in favour of climate change measures

Government urged to scrap road plans in favour of climate change measures
The Social Democrats private members’ motion will be debated later.

The Government is under mounting pressure to scrap planned roads in the National Development Plan in favour of measures to tackle climate change.

The Dáil will tonight debate a motion calling on the Government to revise public spending commitments to prioritise cycling lanes as well as train and Luas extensions.

The Social Democrats private members’ motion also calls on the Government to publish which projects planned under the National Development Plan will now be delayed or cancelled due to cost overruns with the National Broadband Plan and the National Children’s Hospital.

It follows calls from the Green Party to divert money which had been allocated to roads in the National Development Plan to funding proper public transports.

Socal Democrat TD Roisin Shortall said: "We need to revisit the whole roads programme. We have been saying all along that the focus should very clearly be on public transport and we have highlighted the need for Dart underground, for example, unfortunately the Government rejected that.

There are a number of other projects that urgently need to be prioritised, both in relation to the environment and also in relation to better value for money.

"We are talking of the extension of the Luas to Bray and Finglas, Lucan and Poolbeg - that would be one project that we would like to see brought up the line now. We also want to see progress made in relation to cycling facilities."

Party colleague, Catherine Murphy pointed to the fact that the Dáil has declared a climate and biodiversity emergency on foot of the recent Oireachtas report on Climate Change.

"The Government urgently needs to translate this unanimous political resolve into concrete and meaningful actions to respond effectively and fairly to the accelerating impacts of global warming."

She added that congestion in cities such as Dublin and Cork is having an economic impact as it makes these cities unsustainable.

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