BusConnects and the capital

 

Sir, – Annie Crotty (Letters, April 4th) makes a well-intentioned if misguided appeal to “everyone in Terenure and Rathgar who is opposed to the BusConnects plan”.

Is she aware that the proposal that she supports envisages an improvement of a mere seven minutes for the entire route, and that this includes efficiencies that will be derived from the introduction of cashless payments which could be introduced immediately? Has she considered the capital cost of this project? Given the recent record of the State in delivering major projects within budget, we all need to consider if this is realistic.

However, the major consideration is the effect that the project will have on homes, businesses, the environment, the safety of children (there are numerous schools along the route) and the destruction of large parts of our built and supposedly protected environment.

Note that it is not the residents who determine that these properties are protected by law but rather the local authority acting on behalf of the Government. Such designation imposes restrictions and costs on the use and development of the properties above and beyond those that apply to all properties.

The residents who have pointed out the glaring flaws in the proposals are strongly in favour of improvements in public transport, and a range of proposals to achieve this – mainly with little or no cost – have been made to the sponsors of the project. Proceeding with a project at great cost which will destroy much of the environment and which ultimately will not work makes no sense. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL TREACY,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – While I am sympathetic to M Lynch’s concern (April 3rd) that the redesign of the road from Terenure to Portobello as part of the reorganisation of our city’s bus roots might “compromise pedestrian safety, seriously affect our architectural and cultural heritage, ignore the Government plan to reduce carbon emissions, reduce green spaces and ... wilfully destroy 100-year old trees,” I can only hope that your correspondent does not favour the status quo as an acceptable alternative that adequately guards against these concerns.

The present situation whereby bus journeys are less frequent and less efficient due to their sharing of significant amounts of road space with private cars is also severely deleterious to the goals of pedestrian safety and the reduction of carbon emissions. There is a significant environmental harm whether the status quo is maintained or not.

It is because of this that M Lynch’s complaint leads us to the question of why the chosen method of increasing road space for buses is to take it from pedestrians and environment-nourishing greenery. Surely, if environmental protection is really the goal, then it would be best to take this space from the crowds of motorists who use Dublin’s roads for journeys despite the availability of effective and more ecological alternatives.

If your letter writer is unwilling to sacrifice the environment for public transport, would limiting space for private cars to facilitate public transport for the sake of that same environment be a more worthy trade-off? – Yours, etc,

CHRISTOPHER

McMAHON,

Oxford,

England.