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Finally, a Department of Transport

The newly re-elected Fianna Fail/PD coalition have finally corrected one the biggest mistakes involving the management of public transport in recent years, namely the scrapping of the Department of Transport. The reconstituted department will have responsibility for CIE and public transport in general, and will also take in motor transport and road haulage policy.

It will be up to the new minister, Seamus Brennan, to get the Luas finished on time, any delays would spell disaster whatever half-baked attempt at transport planning already exists. In any case, it is generally agreed theat the Luas is only a first step, and much further development of mass-transit sytems must take place in Ireland if the country isn’t going to choke to death.

Plans being discussed include speeding up the development of the airport metro link and further privatisation of the provincial bus service. Seamus Brennan is inheriting a host of problems, including the often discussed one of congestion in the city centre.

With the construction of the new port tunnel, it will be up to him to make some unpopular decisions in relation to trucks in the city and cross-town traffic in general. His post as minister will also serve as a place where the “buck stops”, and he is sure to come under intense pressure to produce results.

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