Save Our Trees

The Green Party has backed concerns from residents regarding the loss of mature trees as part of the Bus Connects proposals. It has said that the final plans must retain more mature plans, even if this involves restricting car access on certain routes. Green Party Transport spokesperson and MEP Ciarán Cuffe has stated: “Plans to bulldoze through long lines of mature trees on Baggot Street Lower and elsewhere are wrong. People have a long memory of Dublin Corporations cavalier attitude to road-widening and steam-rolling through their plans in the 1970s and 1980s.

“If it comes down to a choice between cutting down 50 or 100 year-old trees or diverting car movements then we need to save the trees. In some instances a one-way car system can help in reducing the number of trees that may be felled. It is also crucial that footpaths aren’t reduced to a minimum, and that cycle lanes are designed properly. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the Bus Connects process. My understanding is that the draft plans can change significantly as they move towards finalisation”. “An inter-disciplinary approach is needed to ensure placemaking, landscaping (including green infrastructure and tree planting), urban design, spatial planning and urban regeneration are at the heart of the process” 

Meanwhile speaking to the Irish Times, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said front gardens and trees could be saved if the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) BusConnects plans were redesigned.  The Green Party is calling for public transport investment to be increased to two thirds of the Department of Transport’s infrastructure budget.

Just €8.6 billion of the department’s €40.6 billion infrastructure expenditure is allocated to public transport, and no public transport projects are currently under construction, Mr Ryan said.

Large-scale investment in urban, interurban and rural bus systems was essential, he said, but this did not mean homeowners should have to lose their front gardens or that historic railings or mature trees should be removed.