Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Rural, Regional, Gaeltacht & the Islands Éamon Ó Cuív has accused Minister Shane Ross of abdicating all responsibility associated with his department. It is now one year on from the formation of the Government and his appointment as Transport Minister however, he has still not outlined a transport policy for the country.
Deputy Ó Cuív said, “Minister Ross appears more preoccupied with policy issues outside of the direct responsibility of his department than important issues which fall within his remit. The Programme for Partnership Government commits to a review of public transport policy, while the department’s own Statement of Strategy 2016-2019 states that a new public transport policy statement will act as a key indicator of progress. However, Minister Ross has still not published a public transport paper.
“It is almost unprecedented that a Minister would still not have outlined a plan for one of the most important issues within a department a full year after their appointment. It’s an absolute scandal. It is clear that almost no progress has been made in the formation of a comprehensive transport policy to serve the needs of rural and urban communities across the country. We need a coherent strategy incorporating the rail and bus network to address the historic imbalances in services and to create a plan for the next number of years.
“Shane Ross spent many years pontificating about a range of issues, both as a Senator and an opposition TD. Now that he has an opportunity to broker radical reform, it is appears that he is bereft of ideas, lacking in ambition and reluctant to make a decision.
“Minister Ross has a clear responsibility to ensure that transport companies are adequately funded so that they can meet the policy targets set out by his department. Of course, if there is no policy, it is extremely difficult to achieve this. It is now time for the Minister to set out a timeline for developing this much needed transport policy, along with a process to outline how it can be delivered”.