Jennifer O’Connell: Ryan’s utopian vision carries assumption everyone lives just like him

Minister for Transport would not get far using only sustainable transport

Quite green: Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Quite green: Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Eamon Ryan’s utopian vision of Ireland as a place where people can get everywhere they need to go by public transport shows the fatal flaw in so much Green thinking – the assumption that everyone lives just like you.

Announcing – or re-announcing – the National Development Plan last week, the Minister for Transport said he wasn’t guaranteeing that every road in the plan would go ahead, but he wasn’t ruling it out either. Taoiseach Micheál Martin later added that the plan was not an exhaustive list of projects. “The significance of this is that there was a sense that if something is not listed, the TII [Transport Infrastructure Ireland] won’t go about working on a project,” he added, piling obfuscation onto total confusion. To recap: not every road that’s in the plan will go ahead and some roads that are not in the plan might still go ahead while others that are in the plan may go ahead, but there are no guarantees.

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