NTA cannot attend local representatives’ meetings about BusConnects

Transport authority said it did not have the resources to attend local information meetings throughout the summer

Minister for Transport Shane Ross  at an NTA briefing in July  to unveil a   public consultation report on  BusConnects.  Photograph: : Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Transport Shane Ross at an NTA briefing in July to unveil a public consultation report on BusConnects. Photograph: : Nick Bradshaw

 

The National Transport Authority (NTA) said it did not have the resources to attend information meetings organised by local representatives throughout the summer about the BusConnects proposals.

South Dublin councillor Paul Foley wrote to the NTA seeking a member of the BusConnects team to attend an information meeting in August for the Greenhills community, “to help field any questions that may arise”.

In its response to Mr Foley, the NTA said “because there are close to 300 public representatives in the area covered by the bus network review, if we offer to attend one event we would have to be able to provide the same facility to all of the public representatives”.

“However, the reality is that we simply don’t have the resources to do that. Accordingly, we have to respectively decline this invitation.”

The correspondence was released to The Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act.

The NTA instead offered to provide hard copies of brochures for the Dublin southwest area, and Powerpoint slides showing details about the revised network.

The NTA confirmed that it did not attend any of the meetings organised by local representatives as “we focused on our information events which had both NTA and Dublin Bus teams at all of them”.

The authority said it organised 33 of its own information sessions, meeting around 15,000 people.

Own sessions

The office of Dublin Mid West TD Frances Fitzgerald also wrote to the NTA in August asking if there were BusConnects spokespeople available to attend individual community meetings, “in addition to the public information meetings being held by the NTA”.

The NTA responded by stating its own sessions would begin in August and continue until late September. “As you will appreciate these information sessions are very resource intensive, and accordingly the NTA is not in a position to provide representatives for other meetings.”

A similar request was made by Dublin Bay North councillor Alison Gilliland, who sought an NTA representative “to talk about the rationale for the changes”.

“A 10 minute input followed by a few minutes Q&A is all that would be required,” she said.

Some 30,000 submissions were received by the NTA in relation to the redesign of the bus network when public consultation closed at the end of September.

A revised network is due to be published by mid-2019, and a further round of public consultation will begin. The new network is expected to be rolled out by early 2020.