Shane Ross urges people to get involved in the Bus Connects consultation

Shane Ross urges people to get involved in the Bus Connects consultation

Update 11.44am: Transport Minister Shane Ross has denied disowning his ministerial brief by agreeing to make public submissions by those concerned that they would be "cut off" by the new Bus Connects plan.

Speaking on Today with Sean O'Rourke, Minister Ross said that it was "absolutely proper" that he makes submissions to the NTA about worries of his constituents.

He said this was not political interference.

He said he is charged with policy and legislation but had no part in drawing the map proposing the new bus routes and does not "micro-manage" transport issues.

"What I said was I didn't draw the map, and I won't be re-drawing the map".

He said the plan can be changed if that's what people want.

"Get involved in this public consultation process.

"That map which you see in front of you was certainly not written by me.

"Get it changed because that's what's going to happen - that's what I recommended in the Dáil and Seanad and to the residents."

Minister Ross was challenged on the subject by Green Party TD Catherine Martin and Fianna Fáil Cllr Shay Brennan who accused him of "completely inappropriate" disengagement from the plan.

Ms Martin said the minister had "distanced himself completely from his responsibilities" and told people he would not take questions about the bus plan or the NTA "as it does not come under his remit".

Mr Brennan said that the minister sounded as though he was in denial that he is the Minister for Transport.

Minister Ross said Bus Connects will bring more buses and greater frequency to Dublin "but there are problems that must be ironed out".

Digital Desk

The NRBU is causing confusion about Bus Connects plan says designer

Earlier: The designer of the Bus Connects plan for Dublin has accused the NBRU of causing confusion about the plan.

The Government is continuing to face opposition to it's planned overhaul of the bus network in Dublin.

A number of protests were held around Dublin against Bus Connects while Fianna Fáil have also launched a motion aimed at blocking the overhaul.

Fianna Fáil have also launched a motion aimed at blocking the new scheme.

It comes as Minister for Transport Shane Ross distances himself from the plan claiming it has nothing to do with him..

Jarrett Walker, lead design consultant of the redesign, said: "It was my understanding that the MTA's role was to develop the plan for the minister..."

He added: "There has been a pretty intense campaign to confuse and enrage people that has come from one of the two unions representing the bus drivers - I am referring to the National Bus and Rail Union.

"They have been putting out alarming and misleading information almost from the time the plan came out."

Labour Spokesperson on Transport Kevin Humphreys has criticised Minister Ross’s comments in which he claims he has “nothing to do with Bus Connects”

Senator Humphreys said: “Minister Ross seems to have a gross misunderstanding of his role if he believes the largest review of public transport seen in Dublin in decades has “nothing to do with him”.

“It is worth noting that the Minister's distancing of himself form the BusConnects plan comes after a day of severe criticism for the plan in Dail Eireann. I would ask the question that if it is not the job of the Minister for transport, who in the cabinet is responsible?

“Elected representatives and members of the public across Dublin have been working since July to put to together submissions to the NTA on this proposal. It has been a huge issue for many local areas since its publication at the beginning of the summer. Hours of work has gone into these submissions.

“Considering also that the purposed €2 billion budget marks one of the biggest investments in public transport in Dublin since the economic crash of 2007, the Minister's comments are even more inappropriate.

“It strikes me that the Minister is asleep at the wheel on Bus Connects.”

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