Thursday, 2 December 2010

Dublin's winter road budget on slippery slope

We say it every year. A little bit of snow and the whole place grinds to a halt. The wage earners are briefed, every morning by radio, to leave their cars at home and take public transport. Yet anyone who ever uses public transport knows what that means.

It means hours standing at desolate suburban stops as empty buses whiz past en route to the depot (an experience of a Knocklyon work colleague yesterday). It means trains that run 50 minutes late (my own experience). It means the roads, no doubt populated by public-transport sceptics, are chock-a-block skating rinks.

But it seems that this is just a harbinger of worse to come. Our friends in Dublin City Council revealed that they received no extra Government funds for dealing – in a manner of speaking – with the capital’s January cold snap, which cost an extra €323,199. 

The financial cost of the current cold spell has yet to be taken into account, which does not augur well for next year.  According to an Irish Times report (30th Nov), Dublin will have no budget for extreme weather in 2011, as its entire winter budget for road clearing next year has been set at €152,466.

There was no discussion, it seems, as to what efficiencies could be achieved in other areas at the council bunker to free up more money from its total budget of €870,000,000 in order to keep the city moving. Safely.

We’re on the slippery slope.

But hey, we might not have jobs to go to next year anyway.

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Pike said...

At least you guys in the big city can avail of public transport! We have to fight our own battle here in the Midlands, go to work on a tractor, walk, or simply stay at home. Some are in the lucky position to be able to use their expensive daily school-transporters, aka 4by4's, I found out that our little Smart car is a perfect snowmobile ;-)

The Gombeen Man said...

Negotiating this weather in a Smart! You're a brave man! ;-)

Pike said...

Heeyyy, this is a well equipped Smart Convertible (probably the only one in the country), even has heated seats :-)

The Gombeen Man said...

Don't tell me top down as well, Sven?


Pike said...

Top down? That is what I proposed to the missus today, but she wasn't really convinced of the benefits :-)

The Gombeen Man said...

Ohne oben??? In this weather I don't blame her, Sven!

:-) !!

Anonymous said...

Tuasal Gombeen , I have noticed that a lot of the heads of organisations , experts etc on the tv and radio who are in charge of the goverment response to the weather have american/canadian british accents . This fills a young mans heart with a degree of hope knowing that they are less likely to have gotten the job because their uncle let somebodys niece build in their field or they have a brother who apporoved a super loan . It says a lot about the way things are in this place when you breathe a sigh of relief to hear that an outsider is at the helm .

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes. There might be a difference if they're not Irish... you never know.