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Costello Watch

  • 18-12-2010 2:13am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Post any comments on transport made by Labour's Joe Costello here.
    Tagged:


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    May as well get this started if no one else will. :D

    In relation to the A5 Londonderry to Aughnacloy scheme;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11980894
    Mr Costello said that if the Labour Party is in government, it will "look at all major schemes and review them in terms of their capital costs and the cost-benefit analysis to the economy and job creation".

    It's their standard line, but taken with their Metro North comments, we can begin to paint a picture that no project that FF claim is going to be progressed is "safe".

    I've looked on their website, I don't see anything particularly interesting or detailed on Transport or Infrastructure beyond some vague proposals. Has anyone found anything?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    New national plan needed to deal with weather emergencies

    The lessons of last year’s severe weather conditions have not been learned, as was clear from the severe conditions encountered by motorists and commuters in Dublin and elsewhere last night.. The salting of the roads is a problem in many areas of the west and northwest. There is competition between the local authorities and the NRA for scarce resources. We have been told for weeks by the NRA that the salt is on the high seas. But it now appears that it is not likely to be available for distribution for another week after Christmas - when the thaw is expected to have begun. In the meantime there is rationing.

    The Government National Emergency Co-ordination Committee has managed to achieve its primary objective to keep the main roads open. Public sector workers in the local authorities, in the public transport services and in the public utilities have done the community proud in working around the clock to keep the country running and to provide essential services for people and businesses. Moreover, many communities have demonstrated considerable civic spirit as the residents and businesses moved quickly to clear footpaths, assist their neighbours and look out for the elderly in their communities.

    However, notwithstanding the civic mindedness of many citizens, it is clear that secondary roads are a nightmare everywhere. Housing estates and footpaths are untreated and dangerous for the pedestrian and have been for the last three weeks in many areas. Plans need to be prepared to deal with the daily difficulties and dangers ordinary people experience in the community going about their daily business. Indeed local communities can be part of the solution if local authorities were to mobilise the obvious community and civic spirit in a comprehensive and co-ordinated manner.

    The present National Emergency Co-ordinating Committee is an ad hoc structure which is unable to respond adequately to the range of problems facing different communities and different local authorities in the event of exceptional periods of severe weather conditions.

    The Government must review the present operation. The main initiative since last year was the appointment of the NRA to source the salt supply for the whole country. However that does not take into consideration the very different requirements of individual local authorities. Donegal, for example, is well into its fourth week of constant snow and ice. Clearly northerly counties like Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim are more likely than south eastern counties like Waterford and Wexford to experience more severe winter weather. Indeed the shipments of salt are arriving in Cork while the requirement is for Donegal roads!

    What is essential for the future is a comprehensive National Emergency Plan to cover the entire country. This Plan would deal with extreme weather conditions whether flooding or snow/ice which were previously exceptional events but which are now becoming regular occurrences in Ireland. This National Plan would also be translated into local action plans at area level for each of the local authorities which would be able to mobilise voluntary and civic effort to assist.

    The National Emergency Plan would operate on a year round basis. It would be encompass all local authorities, the public transport system and the utilities sector. It would have an annual budget and it would be charged with advanced planning preparation for all emergencies due to severe weather conditions.
    The first National Emergency Plan should be drawn up in January 2011 with a view to ensuring that a comprehensive programme is ready for implementation immediately severe weather conditions threaten in 2011.

    http://www.labour.ie/press/listing/1292921510562160.html


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    Costello calls for moratorium on nine year taxi rule

    The regulation that all taxis must be less than nine years old on their licence renewal date comes in to force on Saturday 1st January 2011. This is an ill-thought out measure and will cause untold hardship for many taxi drivers.
    Approximately one quarter of the taxi fleet or over 6,000 vehicles will have to be replaced over the next twelve months. In the present economic climate when taxi drivers are striving to keep their heads above water and to feed their families a substantial compulsory outlay for a new or fairly new car may not be possible and many will inevitably be forced to go on the dole.

    In normal circumstances credit facilities would be readily available to the taxi industry. Now it is extremely difficult for a taxi driver to access a loan from the banks.

    There is something bizarre about the Government introducing a scrappage scheme for cars of ten years or older in last year’s budget and extending it in this year’s budget to July 2011. Yet, the taxi driver whose car is between nine and ten years old cannot benefit from this scheme. Surely the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Finance, or indeed some Minister at the cabinet table, should have spotted the anomaly and sought to have the two schemes synchronised. Such a basic flaw demonstrates how dysfunctional this Government has become.
    We cannot afford to have thousands of taxi drivers lose their livelihood over a silly regulation which has not been properly thought through.

    The Minister for Transport has washed his hands off the taxi industry and cannot be relied upon to do anything.

    I believe that the National Transport Authority (NTA) should seize the initiative. Since the 1st December 2010, the Office of the Taxi Regulator and the very substantial funds of that office, obtained through taxi licensing, has come under the control of the NTA. The NTA should declare a moratorium on the nine year age limit until an assessment of the sudden impact of the measure on employment in the taxi industry has taken place and until alleviating measures are explored.

    For example, at the present time, only six per cent of the Taxi fleet is wheelchair accessible and the target of 10% by the end of 2010 has been widely missed. It should be possible to combine a taxi scrappage scheme with a subsidy or incentivised scheme for the purchase of new wheelchair accessible taxis at little or no cost to the Exchequer. This would quickly renew the taxi fleet and enable Ireland to reach its targets in providing taxi transport for the elderly and disabled in our society.

    http://www.labour.ie/press/listing/1293716410203201.html


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    Nothing really explaned on Infrastructure just litte gimmicky proposals. I think its worth just posting up whatever he tries to come out with anyway to show he has no idea about Infrastructure.

    So far so bad.


  • Registered Users Posts: 426 ✭✭ Jack Noble


    tech2 wrote: »
    Nothing really explaned on Infrastructure just litte gimmicky proposals. I think its worth just posting up whatever he tries to come out with anyway to show he has no idea about Infrastructure.

    So far so bad.

    I love this one from Slow Joe:
    The Government must review the present operation. The main initiative since last year was the appointment of the NRA to source the salt supply for the whole country. However that does not take into consideration the very different requirements of individual local authorities. Donegal, for example, is well into its fourth week of constant snow and ice. Clearly northerly counties like Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim are more likely than south eastern counties like Waterford and Wexford to experience more severe winter weather. Indeed the shipments of salt are arriving in Cork while the requirement is for Donegal roads!

    Then it's up to the local authorities in Donegal and Sligo to tell the NRA how much they need and then make sure they get the full load, isn't it Joe?

    And you have to marvel at the sentence I've highlighted in bold.:D

    Sure let's not bring the container ships full of salt into a major port like Cork or even Galway - instead let's stick a few skip loads on a trawler and sail it into Killybegs!

    Seriously, that's the sort of guff you'd expect from Frank McBrearty but a senior Labour frontbencher? You really have to despair at that.

    What was Gilmore thinking when he appointed Costello to the transport brief? Shows how seriously Spoofer Gilmore takes transport.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,511 saywhatyousee


    Jack Noble wrote: »
    I love this one from Slow Joe:



    Then it's up to the local authorities in Donegal and Sligo to tell the NRA how much they need and then make sure they get the full load, isn't it Joe?

    And you have to marvel at the sentence I've highlighted in bold.:D

    Sure let's not bring the container ships full of salt into a major port like Cork or even Galway - instead let's stick a few skip loads on a trawler and sail it into Killybegs!

    Seriously, that's the sort of guff you'd expect from Frank McBrearty but a senior Labour frontbencher? You really have to despair at that.

    What was Gilmore thinking when he appointed Costello to the transport brief? Shows how seriously Spoofer Gilmore takes transport.

    whats wrong with using sligo port it handles all types of bulk cargo, coal, steel,timber,fishmeal,potatoes ect


  • Registered Users Posts: 426 ✭✭ Jack Noble


    whats wrong with using sligo port it handles all types of bulk cargo, coal, steel,timber,fishmeal,potatoes ect

    That's the point - Costello could have suggested alternatives on the Western seaboard but he didn't. He just made a pointless jibe.

    However, my understanding is that these ships carrying the salt are large bulk container carriers, carrying loads of 10,000 tonnes or more of salt from Egypt and Morocco, which can only dock in our major deep water ports - Dublin, Cork (which claims to be the second biggest deepwater harbour in the world after Sydney), Belfast and Foynes.

    The NRA is bringing salt loads into all four ports and then distributing them by road.

    Sligo and Galway are simply too small for such large loads but Derry could be an option to serve Donegal with smaller shiploads. Did Costello suggest this be examined? Did he ask had it even been considered?

    Costello could have made these points and actually offered solutions to Donegal's unique geographical isolation but he didn't. He just had a petty little go for the sake of it to throw a soundbite out there.

    This is Labour's main problem - they're great at righteous indignation and populist anger but still offer very little in terms of alternatives and solutions.

    Costello is one prominent example of this. Has he yet made a single positive contribution since he took up the transport brief six months ago?


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