Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said he now has no confidence in the Government to deliver on public transport and electric vehicles.
“I have no confidence in Minister Shane Ross and I have no confidence in Minister Denis Naughten. I am sorry but we have had enough as cyclists. It’s completely wrong what is allowed at the present time where there are dangerous road conditions and they are doing nothing about it.
“The budget was cut last year at the same time the number of deaths increased,” said Mr Ryan, who added that Mr Naughten “is not doing anything” to increase the number of electric vehicle charging points across the country.
Reducing bus fares and providing places to store bicycles on trains and coaches are among the proposals contained in the Green Party’s public transport plan.
Launching its Commuters’ Charter at its think-in which continues today, the party said it is confident it can at least double the number of Dáil seats after the next general election.
It also unveiled its local, European and general election candidates.
At the gathering in Co Kildare, Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin said the party is “transfer friendly” and is aiming to return five to six seats after the next election.
“We currently have 22 candidates selected. As chair of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus I am delighted to say that 41% of those are female.
“We will be running 30% females in the local elections and those selection conventions are ongoing and are very competitive.”
Among the commitments contained in the Commuters Charter is the proposal to provide secure and sheltered waiting spaces at all public transport stops. The party wants an independent Public Transport Regulator to be appointed within the National Transport Authority, whose remit would be to facilitate greater integration between inter-urban and local transport services, thereby cutting travel times.
It is calling on the Government to increase its subvention to public transport operators by €40m, which would go towards funding a 5% cut in fares for bus users.
The document also proposes to increase bicycle parking at all transport nodes and to provide dedicated areas on buses and trains to store bikes.
“It’s a recognition that commuters are reliant on affordable transport but are often poorly served by existing transport structures,” said Ms Martin.
The party believes extra express buses for long-distance commutes from Drogheda, Dundalk, Mullingar, Tullamore, Portlaoise, Carlow, Arklow and Gorey should be rolled out. Likewise it says the development of a number of key rail routes would improve access for commuters including lines in Limerick, Waterford, Sligo, and Derry.
An in-depth public review of a light rail system for the city of Galway is needed which the Green Party says would drastically reduce its chronic traffic problems.
The party has already selected 13 candidates for the local elections which will take place next May, while 20 selections are under way.
It aims to increase representation on the councils which already have Green councillors, but is also targeting a number of councils including Offaly, Westmeath and Waterford which have never had a Green Party representative.