Public Transport Ard Fheis Motion

My proposing speech on public transport motion:

That this Ard-Fheis commits to the comprehensive provision of public transport, both rural and urban, as an efficient environmental alternative to private transport, and further calls on the Government to increase the level of public transport service provision so that it becomes the obvious first choice for commuters and passengers. (Sallins Cumann, Kildare North) Related Motion: (Wexford CDC)


Minister, Teachta Daila, Senators, A delgaidi, etc etc,

It is a great honour to address this Ard Fheis. It gives me great pleasure to propose this motion on behalf of Sallins cumann, Kildare North and as a Wexford man living in Kildare to note that a similar motion was submitted by Wexford CDC. I shall endeavour to represent both in my address.


Baroness Margaret Thatcher once said “Anyone who is still using public transport by the age of 30 is a failure”

Delegates as an Irishman, a Republican and a Fianna Fáil activist it gives me great pleasure to disagree most vehemently with Thatcher on yet another issue…

I propose tonight that public transport in Ireland should be elevated to a position of service excellence which renders it the automatic first choice for commuters and passengers.

I believe public transport to be the most effective, environmentally friendly way to serve cities with large distributed populations such as Dublin and surrounds.

Furthermore I believe effective public transport an essential component of community infrastructure in rural and outlying areas weaving the social fabric of human interaction and preventing social exclusion for old and young alike.

Transport at national level must serve the needs of the nation, facilitating commerce, tourism and leisure journeys and providing an integrated network of joined up journeys across our land.

Delegates this government has seen unprecedented levels of investment in transport infrastructure.

Transport 21 sees €31BN Euro committed to a comprehensive level of transport provision and infrastructure building across the land. Along with this unprecedented level of investment I believe we must also strive to excel in service delivery, ensuring that passenger expectations are not only met but exceeded to the point where public transport becomes the obvious first choice.


At commuter level we have seen unprecedented economic growth drive the population of the Greater Dublin area to record levels. The rail network has been overhauled and re-developed to meet these demands. Stretches of previously moss-covered tracks have reopened and formerly rural stations car parks are now full to capacity catering for the thousands of citizens daily commuting to work in the capital city.

The huge popularity of these services is a welcome development but forms a challenge for existing infrastructures and we must strive to ensure service provision of the highest standard.

Park and Ride facilities are required at all commuter stations and I am happy to report significant progress within my own constituency with Naas and Sallins due to open, Hazel hatch and Leixlip parking facilities opening ahead of schedule.

In addition to park and ride facilities the feeder bus service should be enhanced and expanded.


At national level the existing rail network continues to improve. Hourly services from Dublin – Cork with spanking new rail cars form the flagship of the new fleet.

The massive engineering projects of T21 hold great promise for future connectivity and a fully integrated transport network. The Interconnecter in particular is a vital piece of transport infrastructure which will serve as hub enabling both commuter and national journeys navigate the centre of Dublin from Southern and Western onto Rosslare and Northern lines

I call upon the Minister to ensure every priority is given to this valuable project and that it delivered with full alacrity…

Spencer Dock – first new station in over a century – benefiting Maynooth Line

It is essential contention can be avoided between national and commuter services to avoid bottlenecks, a development which is already underway in my own constituency of Kildare North, where progress on the Kildare Route project to four track the line along the commuter corridor is well underway.

I would call upon the Minister to examine similar initiatives on other routes particularly on the Wicklow/Gorey/Arklow commuter services where contention with the DART network currently poses challenges for timetabling and journey times.

In the context of social capital and connecting communities it is highly desirable to enable efficient, smooth and pleasant journeys along regional routes. The Celtic Tiger has brought a merciful end to forced emigration but economic mobility still sees many people living far from home and away from extended family. Fianna Fáil has always embraced family values emphasising the role of both immediate and extended family and comfortable, efficient service options for regional and national journeys will help bridge geographic gaps arsing from economic mobility.

Equally commerce and tourism derive significant benefit from national route development.


At local or rural level the challenge of social inclusion can be addressed through provision of local transport and I welcome such innovations as the Rural Transport Initative and call upon the Minister to work with his colleague in Minister O’Cuiv in Community, Gaeltacht and Rural Affairs to extend this pilot scheme – to the areas of Kildare North and Wexford at least 🙂

End notes

Restate environmental benefits of public transport – aesthetics, emissions, less congestion etc
Pay tribute to private operators driving raising bar – AerArann, Private Coach Operators
List areas for improvement – reliability, comfort levels, frequency, ..
Road Safety –

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.