Comprehensive development of our public transport infrastructure is in Ireland’s vital social and economic interest. However, historical investment in high capacity solutions like rail has been lacking; and big public transport projects are too often victim of short-term political considerations. While a high-quality road network is essential and requires investment to be delivered, this should not be at the expense of better-capacity, cleaner and more efficient forms of public transport which can serve as viable alternatives to car-based travel.
The Social Democrats believe that future population growth, particularly in our urban centres, must be adequately planned for today in terms of transport provision if we are to avoid unsustainable urban sprawl, disconnected communities and ever-increasing car commutes. To do this we need to support a modal shift away from carbon intense, car- based transport towards high-capacity public transport options. We must also drastically reduce emissions in transport if we are to meet emissions reduction targets.
Priorities for the Social Democrats in this regard include: