Taoiseach blasted for transport idea by local TD

by Padraig Conlon
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A local TD has blasted the Taoiseach for a transport idea which he believes “defies logic.”

Dublin South West Fianna Fail TD John Lahart says he was surprised at Leo Varadkar’s comments about his government investigating plans to make bus lanes accessible to electric cars.

The Taoiseach was asked during a recent radio interview on Today FM whether the Government had considered allowing electric cars to use bus lanes in a bid to encourage more motorists to take up the more carbon-friendly mode of transport.

“The Taoiseach’s comments were surprising given his own government’s commitment to BusConnects; to reducing congestion in Dublin and to proposing greater use of public transport,” Deputy Lahart said.

“The idea of filling up our bus lanes into the city with cars just defies logic.

“It exposes how bare Fine Gael’s cupboard is when it comes to congestion initiatives and their commitment to Dublin Bus and Public Transport.

“Dublin traffic needs a major shakeup.

“There is no mention of cycling or e-cycling in the government’s Climate Action Plan and they have put all their eggs in the basket of e-Cars.

“I have no idea why the Taoiseach would propose the use of bus lanes by e-cars.

“We already are the slowest moving city in Europe, with the average city commuter spending ten days of their lives each year stuck in city traffic.

“At the very least, the Taoiseach would be better employed ensuring the roll out of e-charging points nationwide,” concluded Deputy Lahart.

The Government has set a target of 1 million Electric Vehicles on Irish roads by 2030 under the Climate Action plan.

By then the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) cars will be prohibited and by 2045, no ICE car will be eligible for NCT certification, which will mean these cars will be banned from Irish roads.

Meanwhile, a levy which is paid by the oil industry but passed on to the consumer when purchasing petrol, diesel and heating oil will soon be used for the Climate Action Fund.
The levy is currently set at a rate of 2c per litre on most petroleum products.
The money collected by the levy will now go to support projects to reduce Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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