Opening up bus lanes

Thu, Apr 10, 2014, 01:40

Sir, – Shane O’Doherty (Letters April 4th) belittles cyclists and people like me who commute by public transport on the basis that he, as a car driver, contributes more to the national economy than we do.

The tobacco industry could apply an equally plausible argument, or the arms industry, but that would be to ignore the common good, the health and welfare of our society and, indeed, our appalling legacy of a ruined planet in the name of a spurious concept Mr O’Doherty refers to as “the economy”.

As Colm Moore (Letters, April 7th) points out, typically 75-per-cent-empty cars make up 80 per cent of traffic but carry less than 40 per cent of passengers. Mr O’Doherty lists the plethora of expenses involved in owning a car. Here are some more thoughts he can ponder: as a typical car owner today, he will devote three to four of his 16 waking hours to his car. For his time, he will travel less than 10,000 miles a year and propel himself at an average speed of less than 8 miles an hour — about the same as a bicycle. And he will have to work up to a day and a half each week just to keep his means of transport on the road. Go figure. Yours, etc,

GREGORY ROSENSTOCK,

Seapoint Road,

Bray,

Co Wicklow

Sir, – In response to Shane O’Doherty’s recent campaign (letters, April 3rd and April 8th) to open up bus lanes, it’s a simple formula – regular buses lead to more passengers, lead to fewer cars, lead to less congestion. This is a well-founded scenario with plenty of evidence globally to support it.

Rather than dispensing with bus lanes, a better tack might be pressing Dublin Bus to supply passenger numbers on certain routes in order to justify the level of investment that is required to keep them running. The more serious issue here – and I must admit ignorance – is whether or not Dublin Bus is able to provide a service at an affordable price for those who cannot afford to run a car to and from work. Mass transit systems, given their value to infrastructure, are worth investing in.

Perhaps it’s time to reopen the debate on competition on routes versus investment by the State. Yours, etc,

PATRICK FALVEY,

Glenogle Road,

Edinburgh,

EH3 5HP