05 January 2017

Reacting to the remarks of Minister Shane Ross on the health crisis, Labour spokesperson on Dublin, Senator Kevin Humphreys has said it is time the Minister got to grips with his own Department.

“While there were 18 people waiting on trolleys this morning in his local hospital in St Vincent’s it’s incredible that the best solution Minister Shane Ross could come up with was that Minister Harris should ‘go in and kick ass today’ with the HSE.

“The Government’s Chief Commentator has been no stranger to sharing his views on what should happen in other Departments, but Minister Ross has been less proactive in outlining serious plans for his own Department.

“It was great to see that he managed to get the No. 44 bus over Christmas, but where is his plan for increasing capacity on our public transport system, and ensuring it is adequately funded?

“Yesterday we heard his latest thoughts when he said he might consider naming and shaming drink drivers but a fully developed strategy for improving road safety would be more welcome.

“Maybe next week we will see Minister Ross out on his bicycle as part of Operation Transformation – then we might see talk of some investment in cycling infrastructure.

“Last year I uncovered the removal of funding for essential cycle ways across Dublin. I would be delighted to see Minister Ross kicking ass in Government and securing more investment to deliver these much needed facilities, expanding Dublin Bikes and raise the 1% of transport funding it gets, to 10%.

“No doubt when the LUAS cross city that Labour funded opens later this year we will see Minister Ross out taking credit, but where is the drive to bring forward Metro North, and advance plans for expansion of the DART and the delivery of DART underground.

“It’s time Minister Ross started kicking ass in transport because if Dublin and Ireland is to continue to grow, a functioning transport system is crucial.

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