Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy TD has criticised Minister Shane Ross for his disinterest in dealing with the mounting traffic congestion problems across Dublin.

Deputy Troy made the comments after receiving new information which shows that the Department of Transport does not hold any traffic count data on traffic congestion in the Greater Dublin Area. The Department also confirmed that it does not carry out any research into its frequency or policy measures to mitigate traffic build-up.

Deputy Troy said, “Traffic congestion is a massive, mounting problem across the Dublin area and one that the authorities are completely unprepared for. Congestion within the City is already beginning to seriously impair commuters’ quality of life and will soon become a serious drag on productivity and economic growth.

“It’s shocking that the Department of Transport does not even collect statistics on traffic congestion or conduct any research on what is a major problem facing our country. Minister Ross has taken a completely hands off approach to this issue. He has sought to wash his hands of the matter and has stated that the issue is the responsibility of individual Local Authorities.

“While Local Authorities do collect traffic count statistics, they simply do not have adequate staffing, expertise or resources to conduct research into innovative policy responses that could be effective in mitigating traffic congestion. Minister Ross should be far more proactive in dealing with this issue and should instruct his Department to come up with ideas to managing traffic congestion in our cities.

“Unfortunately Minister Ross has shown little interest in providing innovative solutions to the traffic congestion choking our cities. Fianna Fáil has proposed a number of innovative policy ideas to reduce traffic congestion which the Department has so far refused to even countenance.

“These measures include managing traffic demand, which is a cost-effective alternative to increasing capacity on our roads while we wait to access the required capital for transport infrastructure projects. These changes can be implemented in a short duration of time and will help redistribute traffic across a greater number of hours to free up capacity on the major arterial routes during peak travel periods.”