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Transport 21

11.03.2005

I know i posted on this yesterday, but rule one of blogging block is to repeat oneself. Actually i just wished to point out the rathe good take on the whole transport 21 thing over at Backseat drivers. I think both Dick and Simon over at dossing are dead right to be sceptical of this move as a ploy to rehash all the intentions of their time in office into a super-duper manifesto plan.
The genreal public may be worried to note that the transport 21 website is hardly a mine of information, here.
As i pointed out yesterday, this plan is all things to all people and such plans in my mind are rarely a good deal by the government. The commitment to 21st century transport does seem a tad disingenious since the time for such commitment was the height of a boom in order to keep it going. Instead we had a contemptible attitude toward provision of public anything let alone finance the expansion and improvement of public transport to the point of enticing many people to use it.
The about turn, is another window dressing exercise by the vacuous ideology which is Fianna Fail. The idea of satisfying everyone is their number one goal. Yet their capacity to deliver is something of a credible critique.
However, I think this whole project unmasks the myth that there exists much division between the parties on substantial policy. Transport policy was never the make or break issue in government yet the convergence of irish parties around a clutch of core values, leads to these mini-debates about aspects of delivery and other managerial technicalities. Delivery of the plan, masks debates to be had about the need for FOUR train stations in the City, masks the issue over tolling on our roads and whether our State is large enough to sustain a system of tolling.
What about expanding road building, if we build roads, we will only fill them. Is such a critique valid? I think it has merit superficially yet the quality of roads is also associated to road safety so there is a moral responsibility to ensure minimum standards across the state. Still, the idea of motorway expansion will vex many along the proposed new routes, their issues should be taken up now, resolved and moved on from. in this way road building will not suffer M50 style backlog, if it is decided to take place at all.
Road building is one of Irelands most contentious issues, yet on all sided the consnsus is build more, outside of the green party noone sees this view as a tad unsustainable.
My point is that on policy across the board, especially transport in this case, a beneficial decisions is sacrificed because dissent doesnt reach the public discourse leaving the only alternative to protest as the long march through the courts.
RR

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