Monday 29 October 2007

L Plate blues

So my week off work has been fun so far - Arcade Fire in Phoenix Park, Redneck Manifesto in the Liquid Lounge in Cork. Might go to see Fight Like Apes tomorrow.

What has fucked me up is trying to figure out the latest stance on the whole provisional drivers fiasco. Dempsey says the Gardai will be lenient. Gardai say otherwise. Then there's a three month 'probation' period.

It has been a typically ham fisted approach from an inept department of transport, taking advice from a quango of an organisation (RSA) that appoints a former chat show host (who, incidentally, admitted that he has never sat a driving test) as their organisation head.

Of course, much like Hearney and the HSE the government can shift accountability by pointing to the RSA as the instigators of this mess.

Working for a regional newspaper in County Cork my car is essential. I also applied for my test last March. I got confirmation last week that I have my test at the end of November. Everyone knows that a reform of Irish driving rules is needed. But the government needs to step up in other places - such as the cutting of waiting lists for the test and a better provision of public transport.

I was in Dublin when I heard the news. With the Luas and Dublin bus I had no hassle getting around to my friends' apartment into the city centre, to pubs and gig venues and back to Heuston Station. It was the longest I have gone without driving since I started work.

Driving home from the train station in Mallow I thought to myself: 'I wonder how often a bus travels this route?'

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