In Autumn 2006, Dublin Chamber of Commerce which correctly asserted that "the establishment of a Dublin Transport Authority (DTA) is vital to ensure a coherent and consistent approach to transport in the greater Dublin area".
However, the particular model proposed by Transport Minister Martin Cullen would be laughable if the implications were not so serious.
Maybe it will never happen. Mr Cullen has announced many such schemes before and surely will do so again. The real problem will be if, for once, he delivers.
The bringing together of the management of some of the agencies involved in transport in Dublin does not make an authority — it doesn’t even include the greater number of bodies involved in traffic/transport delivery in the region.
It is a pathetic fudge.It is just another P.R. stunt.
Refusing to include a realistic, accountable land use remit reduces further any hope that the authority can deliver.
The proposed DTA will have no meaningful authority and no legitimate right to determine any land and transportation policies. (Upset the Developers and landowners lobby?-not likely)
Under the proposals, there is no structured role for the gardaí and no worthwhile role for the local authorities.
There are no real proposals for the integration of the work of the various public transport providers.
Incredibly, there is no accountability by, or a transfer of powers from, any of the far too many Government departments which have an interfering, yet seldom helpful, role in the delivery of our transport services.
The proposed DTA is nothing short of a cowardly way for Martin Cullen to engage in a sly attack on public transport: a neat way of transferring the power to license private bus routes without having the courage to do it himself.
Dubliners and C.I.E. workers deserves better.
The city needs a real and powerful transport authority. It needs it to be an integrated land use and transport agency, and it needs it now.
The suggestion that the new authority will be modelled on Transport for London is perhaps the most hypocritical element of these proposals.
Transport for London is led by the city’s mayor and is encompassed in the overall work of the Greater London Assembly.
Ironically, the proposal to have a directly elected mayor of Dublin was abandoned by none other than Mr Cullen.
This was the same minister who requested Dublin City Council to delete an aspiration for a land and transportation authority from its development plan. Now we know why. Cullen claims his plans follow a period of consultation with the relevant bodies.
That statement is a lie. The Dublin city manager on November 6 2006 indicated that "no consultation had taken place between the Department (of Transport) and Dublin City Council on the establishment of the transportation authority". That was three days before Mr Cullen (re)announced his plans.
Given the key role that the Office of Director of Traffic must have in any Dublin Transport Authority, it is clear that Mr Cullen’s announcements are nothing more than the kneejerk reactions of a minister with no plan, no vision and no commitment to integrated transport for Dublin.
The call for a Dublin Transport Authority should be supported by anyone with a commitment to Dublin and a comprehensive public transport system.
Unfortunately, the proposals from Minister Cullen amount to nothing more than a failed attempt at covering up the inactivity of the past 10 years.
Real reform would see a Dublin regional assembly led by a directly elected mayor with the authority, mandate and resources promptly to deliver public services — and that includes a comprehensive transport service.
A "smoking gun " found in Martin's files..? More media manipulation uncovered.
. Cullen is caught out by a note from his staff !!
TRANSPORT Minister Martin Cullen was at the centre of a cock-up in October 2005,that led to an embarrassing clash with his civil servants.
The row is over delays in providing information to opposition parties.
A spokesman for the Minister has rejected claims that the release of information was being deliberately delayed by the department to put opposition parties on the back foot.
Mr Cullen himself had denied, in a written response to Fine Gael, that he had instructed civil servants to delay the provision of media releases to opposition spokespeople.
He said they should be issued "as soon as reasonably practical".
But there will be red faces over the fact that Mr Cullen's written reply to Fine Gael also inadvertently contained a "Note for the information of the minister" that contradicted his own answer on the matter.
The note in question said that Mr Cullen's department was of the view that "the press releases should not be issued to opposition spokespersons at the same time as they are released to the media".
It adds that the press releases are put up on the department's website "within a few hours of being issued to the media".
Fine Gael deputy leader Richard Bruton and transport spokeswoman Olivia Mitchell tabled questions to Mr Cullen after they noted that the party was being kept "out of the loop" for several hours on important media releases.
The Fine Gael front bench suspected that they were being deliberately kept in the dark over issues for several hours to prevent them from responding to announcements.
Ms Mitchell said: "The minister's reply claimed that he had no problem with issuing his press releases to me at the same time as they are issued to the press, but the note from his officials on the matter completely contradicts his assertions on the releases.
"For a minister that has no problem issuing the same press release three times or more on the same topic, one would have thought that he could put his fears aside and give his fellow politicians in the opposition the same facility that is afforded the members of the press," she said.
Revenue vultures lighten the pockets of Cullen's crooked donors.
Max Morris of Piltown,Co Kilkenny generously donated Euros 2000 Euros to Martin Cullen's re election campaign co ordinated by the lovely Monica Leechhttp://www.soldiersofdestiny.org/monicalewinsky.htm
In 2006 his generousity surpassed this figure when the wretched Revenue received a contribution of 970,000 Euros from Max.max runs a lucrative oil distribution firm called "Morris Oil"
He inadvertently under declared his income, to the taxman,and had lodged extensive cash assets "offshore" while retaining other funds in a bogus "non resident" account.etc.
Morris was appointed to the board of Waterford Port Company in 1999.
Another of Martins " circle of friends of PDs" in the region is Noel Frisby.Noel coughed up 1300 euros, in a Bertie Ahern style whiparound which totalled 35000 euros, for the impoverished Martin in 2002.
In September 2001 Noel also fell foul of Revenue who benefitted to the tune of 2.5 million euros in one of the largest settlements ever recorded at the time.
However Frisby had 36 million in accumulated profits in the bank last year.He recently paid one of the highest prices for unzoned land just outside Waterford City. 87 acres cost him 34 million euros.!
Expect the good councillors of Waterford to be busy with their rezoning schedule during the coming months..
Waterford councils fined for landfill offences
Local authorities in Waterford were yesterday fined for breaching conditions of waste management licences granted to them by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Waterford City Council was fined €6,000 while Waterford County Council was ordered to pay €4,000 for offences under Section 39 of the Waste Management Act, 1996-2003 at the Circuit Court in Waterford.
The authorities faced charges including the unlawful disposal of waste and failing to install infrastructure for the collection and flaring of landfill gas at the Kilbarry and Tramore landfills, in the city and county respectively. Both landfills are now closed.
The Tramore landfill facility was granted a waste licence in September 2001, while Kilbarry received its licence in October of the same year.
Breege Rooney, an inspector with the Office of Environmental Enforcement, said in evidence that the flaring of explosive methane and explosive carbon dioxide gases had not taken place at the landfill in Kilbarry.
A leachate management rainfall system, required under the licence conditions, had not been installed.
More than 100 tonnes had been placed on the site before the licensing period. The site was operational for approximately 30 years.
Director of services, planning and the environment with Waterford City Council, Michael Walsh, said that while €4.6 million had been spent on the Kilbarry site, "another €5-€6 million" was required.
The local authority sought funding from the Government, while the Department of the Environment had confirmed the allocation was "a priority".
The landfill, which has "between 16 and 20 people employed on-site", was confined due to space. "A tendering process for flaring is under way," added Mr Walsh, who hoped to have a contractor in place by August.