June 2005 Archives

Elected Mayor to Head Dublin Traffic

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Minister Cullen has proposed that a new transport authority for Dublin should be modelled on Transport for London. In suggesting this, I hope that he has seen that TFL's role is "to implement the Mayor's Transport Strategy for London and manage the transport services across the capital for which the Mayor has responsibility". Notwithstanding the Minister's decision in 2004 to abandon Minister Dempsey's plans for directly elected mayors, he should ensure that Dublin's authority is headed by a directly elected Lord Mayor with a five-year term. Anything less would be a complete misreading of Transport for London.

The establishment of a single authority to assume total responsibility for all aspects of traffic and public transport in Greater Dublin is long overdue. The proposed body must have real powers and operate as an authority in both name and deed. In the long run, it is unlikely to be effective unless it controls (or, at least, supervises) Dublin Bus, LUAS and DART and has real clout with the four local authorities and other vested interests which collectively and separately are making such an utter mess of Dublin's traffic. A directly elected chairperson would help ensure real accountability and responsibly as demonstrated in London.

Our Second Language

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Surely, the second most widely used language in Ireland is either Polish or Mandarin rather than Irish. I wonder what the Polish for Dingle is?

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