Speaking in an Assembly debate today (Monday 29th November 2021) about a new report into the decarbonisation of road transport in Northern Ireland, Clare Bailey MLA criticised the Executive’s record on investment in sustainable and public transport.
The Green Party NI Leader said: “Transport is our second-highest emitting sector, and therefore is a crucial area to address in our move to net-zero. However, the Executive is responsible for the chronic underfunding of the infrastructure we need to move to a net-zero transport system.
“The report highlights that the rest of the UK is running ahead of us, both in terms of the uptake of electric vehicles, and the rollout of charging points. But electric cars are not a panacea – there needs to be increased focus and investment in public and sustainable transport. We need to spend more than £2/head on active travel. We need to stop building roads and build segregated cycle lanes instead. We need to give buses priority on our roads, and greatly expand our public transport network.
“We need serious intervention in our transport infrastructure to meet our obligations around preventing catastrophic changes to global temperatures, but we also need it to improve the everyday lives of people in Northern Ireland.
“Our carbon-based transport system is actively damaging people’s health and wellbeing. According to the Department of Health, there are expected to be 84,000 new cases of disease linked to air pollution in Northern Ireland by 2035. People are dying because of our unclean air, but the Executive is still not responding with the required urgency.”
Media contact: Jack O’Dwyer-Henry (07504410770)