A truly integrated travel plan

Travel strategy is an important part of trying to address climate change, as well the quality of life of those who have to get to work during rush hour. Anyone who has spent any significant time in Dublin knows how bad it is when the transport system is totally inadequate to the needs of those who use it. Some time back Conor Murphy, who has been doing a fairly competent job, announced an integrated travel plan designed to ease congestion, protect the environment, and facilitate those who have bought houses and flats in and around Belfast and elsewhere in getting to the work that pays their mortgages. A fine plan it was too, if giving too much prominence to cars. Central to transport strategy before and under Murphy has been investement in the much-neglected railways. Imagine the near incredulity then with which I read on the BBC website that consideration is being given to ending Sunday trains.

I’m fairly sure this is an attempt to wring extra cash for the railways rather than under serious consideration, though it does not breed confidence in the transport system, nor in the commitment to green policies we have heard a great deal about. You do wonder sometimes what is wrong with some people. Then again, we have always known most of our politicians are clowns, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

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6 Responses to “A truly integrated travel plan”

  1. Cruibín Says:

    This would really be an incrediblly retrograde step. When I first read it my automatic thought was “the Sundamentalists are at it again” but to save money, How, and at what cost to the environment?

    Living in a city where public transport has remained static since the removal of the tram lines in 1931 (Cork, although I now live outside the city) I would agree – integrated transport is vital. Belfast is lucky in that it still has a fairly extensive rail system but there is room for a Luas style tram in the Northern Ireland capital – Belfast is also a relatively flat city (compared to Cork, which is all hills like Derry) so this type of light rail would seem ideal.

    If it weren’t for the black taxis and the system of sharing them, Belfast would probably grind to a halt too.

  2. WorldbyStorm Says:

    Yes, same with Dublin. I was always struck back in the day at how, relatively, comprehensive the Belfast, indeed the NI rail links were. That it should try to limit this beggars belief.

  3. Abdul-Rahim Says:

    You can’t expect capitalist government’s priorities to be anything but profit…

  4. Garibaldy Says:

    Sundamentalists Cruibín, like it. I agree with yourself and WBS that Belfast’s transport system could certainly be worse, and the recent reforms to the bus system have been an improvement in frequency of service. Although I think for people travelling in from the satellite towns, it’s bad, and this could only make things worse. I also see there are discussions about maybe ending the recently introduced free travel for the over 60s. I think there is a lot of leaking going on to strengthen the DRD’s hand in negotiations, but it’s depressing and ridiculous.

    Abdul, I understand what you’re saying, but we can pressure them into doing sensible things.

  5. Cruibín Says:

    Yes, I think that term “Sundamentalists” should be used more – while I support the trade union movement on the issue of Sunday trading on the basis that people are entitled to at least one free day every week there is nothing worse than the intolerant Sundamentalists who believe that not only can people not work, but that they can’t enjoy themselves, engage in sport or have a pint in the local, nor can anyone else regardless of the other person’s religious persuasion or the lack of any – now that is Sundamentalism! Mind you, I’m against Good Friday pub closing and the Angelus on Irish radio & television.

  6. Garibaldy Says:

    Good Friday pub closing. Stupidest thing ever.

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