BusConnects and serving the capital

 

Sir, – Mark Paul states that the backlash from the public as well as various interested parties over the redesigned Dublin bus network could become as much of an issue as the Irish Water fiasco (“Backlash over Dublin bus routes could become new water charges”, Business Opinion, September 21st). Perhaps.

However, his assertion that the existing Dublin bus system network is as cracked as the city’s water pipes is rather wide of the mark. What is realistic for the future is a situation whereby private operators would cherry-pick what they perceive to be the most profitable routes and jettison those deemed non-profitable, something which effectively sounds the death knell for any founding notion of our capital’s public transport system being a public service.

The “locals concerns” your columnist mentions amount to a public in fear that they are going to be the underwriter for someone else’s profits while, as the end customer, losing out in the process due to a “service” which no longer works for them. Pragmatism and prudence should be what guides this important policy. Decision-makers only need look across the water to consider the experience in Britain 25 years ago, where John Major’s Conservatives, having broken up the much-maligned British Rail, ended up with a bill to the taxpayer which was considerably higher in subsidies for the raft of private operators that replaced British Rail, not to mention a public paying astronomical fees to travel by rail! – Yours, etc,

JD MANGAN,

Stillorgan,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – It is remarkable that judicial appointments, the location of Garda stations and peace in North Korea appear to fall under the remit of the Minister for Transport but the €770 million BusConnects programme, which was officially launched by the Minister on May 29th, 2017, does not. Go figure! – Yours, etc,

JUSTIN McALEESE,

Dublin 4.

Sir, – Shane Ross, the “Minister for Selective Disconnect”?

Yours, etc,

DONAL MOORE,

Ferrybank,

Waterford.

Sir,– Does Shane Ross have a sign on his desk that reads: “The bus stops here”? – Yours, etc,

PAUL DELANEY,

Dalkey,

Co Dublin.