Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Transport stuck in the slow lane

Letters to the editor should be sent to: 124-144 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EB. E-mail: writeback@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

In Belfast, a £250,000 fence was being constructed at a primary school to keep apart the local sectarian Neanderthals.

At the same time, Dublin was launching a consultation document over the best route for the next Luas tram line.

So, while we invest in yet more barriers to keep people apart, the clever Irish are putting yet more billions of euros into bringing people together.

The Luas has transformed Dublin and folk there love it.

Throughout the rest of the UK and Europe, similar schemes are either up and running, being added to, or at advanced stages of planning, but not here.

What do we have by comparison?

A two-mile journey during the early morning rush hour from Rosetta to the city centre was taking an hour last week.

Our public transport is dire, yet our new Government has just announced spending plans which indicate no significant investment in the type of infra-structure now accepted as vital for other capital cities. Why can we not imitate Amsterdam, where a fantastic rapid tram network negotiates the narrow, medieval streets with ease and reaches far out into the suburbs?

Why are we stuck in the slow lane of negativity and zero imagination?

While Dublin strides confidently into the future, we wring our hands with envy and do nothing.

Jobs here are evaporating daily.

Why would anyone choose here when they can go to Dublin with its vastly superior infrastructure and half our corporation tax rate?

Those interested in seeing the full range of benefits that come with transforming a city using rapid transit can look at these websites, currently unknown to our political leaders: www.lightrailuk.com, www.ltra.org and www.lightrailnow.org. At least we can dream.

Tram of Thought Belfast

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