Local Dublin authorities reject Cullen's transport authority

All four Dublin local authorities have rejected Minster for Transport Martin Cullen's proposals on the Dublin Transportation Authority (DTA). Martin Cullen has proposed that the DTA be set up to implement Transport 21, oversee surface transport across six counties in the greater Dublin area and take over the Rail Procurement Agency (RPA) and some functions of Dublin Bus and Iarnród Éireann. It was to be modelled on the Transport for London office in the UK


In November 2006, the department of transport published detailed plans for the DTA. It is these plans that the four local authorities – Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, South Dublin County Council, Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council – rejected at a meeting of the Dublin Regional Authority on 12 December.

The motion to reject the  proposals said that Cullen's proposals failed to “provide for a meaningful and democratic DTA”. The regional authority called on him to withdraw the proposals. The motion was tabled by Labour councillor ermot Lacey.

One of Lacey's criticisms of the DTA proposals is that it is not modelled on Transport for London. Transport for London is an arm of the Greater London Authority and is run by the Mayor of London. In comparison, Dublin's four local authorities would have no role within the DTA.

According to the Dublin city manager, they were not even consulted about the authority.

On 6 November, three days before Cullen's proposals were launched, Dublin city manager John Tierney said that “no consultation had aken place between the department of transport and Dublin City Council on the establishment of the transportation authority.”

Another problem, according to Lacey, is the fact that there will be no transfer of powers from any of the government departments. Also, there are no proposals for the DTA to have involvement with an Garda Síochána, even though they are meant to be taking over traffic management in the city.

The RPA has also criticised the proposals. It said, “The report does not provide a credible explanation as to why a new state agency is required to take over the implementation of the Metro and Luas projects... the RPA itself was established less than five years ago.” They also said that a move over to the DTA could disrupt plans already underway for the Metro North.
Margaret O'Mahony, a professor of civil engineering at Trinity College Dublin, carried out the report for the Department of Transport. She resigned once the report was complete as she was not able to commit to the job on a full-time basis.

Cullen was to publish legislation establishing the authority before Christmas, once he had received submissions on the proposals. According to the Department of Transport, this will now happen in the new year.
Emma Browne