[Sinn Fein]

7th November 2002

Crowe condemns reports of Government plans for public transport

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Transport Seán Crowe TD has condemned reports that the government is planning to overhaul the public transport system in a way that `is tantamount to preparing for wholescale privatisation.'

``This government has decided to abandon public transport. The problems facing commuters in this state are as a result of a sustained government failure to invest properly in our public transport network. The paltry amount of funding the government provides is a fraction of what is needed to build a public transport network that could match those existing in Europe. The shambolic nature of the construction of LUAS merely underlines that this government's transport policy seems to be made up as they go along.

``A look at the state of public transport in England demonstrates the foolishness of pursuing similar decisions, which are tantamount to preparing the way for wholescale privatisation. The disaster that is the British rail network can be traced very clearly back to a government bent on introducing competition and privatisation as some sort of ideological scared cow. The state of the public transport network in Britain today shows clearly the wisdom of this. Answering a question from me in Leinster House the Minister claimed he remained ``fully committed to the provision of quality public transport.'' If he is, he should rethink what he plans to say to the Public Transport Forum today.'' ENDS

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