Public transport and the roadmap

 

Sir, – Recent days have seen a succession of sectoral and vested interests demand changes that would favour them with regard to the Government’s roadmap for reopening society.

Surely, however, the overarching aim of the plan should seek to maintain social cohesion and balance the ongoing effects of the restrictions fairly across society. To this extent, the current plan discriminates very significantly against those who are reliant on public transport. From June 8th, under phase two, people will be able to travel up to 20km from home for social and leisure purposes. However, public transport will remain restricted to essential journeys only. As a result, those of us who do not drive for whatever reason will effectively continue to be restricted to a 5km radius of home.

There are many reasons why someone might not drive but there can be little doubt that those who are worse off or who experience long-term health or disability issues are more likely not to use a car. Throughout the current pandemic we have seen how the poorest and those most unwell have suffered most around the world. Now they are to be denied an equal share in our national recovery.

Of course I appreciate that there are additional health risks associated with public transport; however, surely it is a matter of solidarity that we all unwind together. To that end, until public transport begins to become more available in phase three of the unwinding, would it not be fairer to limit social and leisure activity to within 10km from home in phase two to strike a balance between the emancipation of motorists and the continued confinement of public transport users? – Yours, etc,

BARRY HENNESSY,

Donabate, Co Dublin.