Nash and McGinty Make Submission to National Transport Authority on new GDA Transport Strategy
6 January 2022
- Co. Louth must be included in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) Transport strategy
- Fair and Flexible Fares, including a new ‘Taxsaver’ ticket for blended work & extension of Leap Card zones urgently needed for the people of Louth & East Meath
- Enhanced Public Transport routes should including the D4 and D5 bus services extension to Donacarney
Louth and East Meath TD Ged Nash and East Meath Councillor Elaine McGinty have made a joint submission to the National Transport Authority (NTA) on their planned Greater Dublin Area (GDA) transport strategy.
The NTA’s plan does not formally include Louth as part of the GDA despite thousands of workers commuting from Drogheda, Dundalk and mid-Louth into Dublin every day.
A recent survey found 75% of workers in the Drogheda region are dissatisfied with their commute. In addition, over a third of respondents spend more than €250 per month on travel costs, with commuters from Louth facing significantly higher fares than those from other counties included in the GDA (e.g. Wicklow) who benefit from discounted rail rates within the Leap Card zone. This data illustrates a clear dissatisfaction with the availability and affordability of public transport in the area for the commuting population.
Deputy Nash said, “Louth has suffered because it is bizarrely not included in the GDA area for the purpose of transport planning. It should be obvious for example that if the length of a journey from Drogheda to Dublin City is the same as one from Greystones the price of a ticket should be in line. The NTA needs to have a more consistent approach in their transport plan.”
Deputy Nash’s & Cllr. McGinty’s submission has consequently called again for “Fair Fares” for the people of Louth and East Meath, and re-stated Labour’s fully-costed Alternative Budget pledge for free public transport for students and children.
In addition, the submission notes the need for flexible fares, including the introduction of a new “Flexible Taxsaver” ticket given the huge shift to blended working and the need for capped daily/weekly fare rates regardless of what modes of transport are used.
Deputy Nash warned that failure to urgently introduce an appropriate and flexible Taxsaver ticket option “is likely to make the continued use of public transport for the majority of ‘hybrid’ workers unaffordable, and consequently force more people back into single-vehicle commuting at a significant cost to the exchequer, environment and economy.”
In a related but separate submission to a consultation on bus services in the area, the duo also noted the need for an extension of existing public transport services, including the Donacarney bus service provision, with Cllr. Elaine McGinty calling for the D4 and D5 Bus Eireann routes to be enhanced to include estates such as Grange Rath, Maydenhayes and Whitfield.
Cllr. McGinty cited the “rapid population growth in recent years and significant demand for bus services at present which is out of reach for many” and called on the NTA to take “urgent action to meet existing and future demand for bus services in Donacarney”.
-Ends- For more information, please contact:
Cllr. Elaine McGinty: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daragh Hamilton, Parliamentary Assistant to Ged Nash TD: email@example.com