Archive for the 'Transport' Category

Good news: Bus Rapid Transit for Blanchardstown is back on the agenda

I am pleased to say that the National Transport Authority has confirmed that it plans to proceed with the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route between Blanchardstown and UCD in 2018. The confirmation came from Hugh Creegan, Director of Transport Investment for the National Transport Authority (NTA), at a meeting of the Fingal County Council – Dublin City Council Inter-Authority Forum which I attended last week.

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will provide a high quality public transport route between the Blanchardstown Town Centre and UCD, via the City Centre. I have continually pointed out the size of the population growth in Dublin 15 – we have four of the ten fastest growing areas in the entire country. There must be new public transport put in place so the new and existing residents of Dublin 15 can go about their daily commute.

Hugh Creegan from the NTA stated that a design team had been appointed for the Blanchardstown-UCD BRT route and that a public consultation phase would start later in 2017, with a view to having a planning application for the route submitted in 2018. Significantly, he also stated that NTA felt that they have the necessary funding for the project. This is important, as when the last government announced the Capital Investment Programme 2016-21, no funding for the BRT was provided at that time.

With more houses being built across Dublin 15 in Tyrrelstown, Hansfield and Carpenterstown, it is good that the National Transport Authority is finally providing for the needs of our area. I look forward to engaging in the public consultation process, so we can ensure that we get the very best route and range of stops for commuters and communities across West Dublin.

Pic 38b

I’m delighted to see that Dublin Bus has announced a new early morning 38B service. The bus will leave Damastown at 6:00am.

Since September, I have been in regular contact with Dublin Bus to improve capacity on this route, due to the increased number of commuters who are using it. Prior to Christmas, Dublin Bus agreed that more tri-axel buses would be used on the 38B route, as these have a 30% greater passenger capacity.

These improvements are very welcome for residents of Mulhuddart, Corduff and Waterville, all of whom are served by the 38B. The new service will start operating from Monday 20th February.

I will also continue to lobby Dublin Bus to look at providing a bus service through the Waterville estate. There are over 1,500 apartments and houses in this area and a direct route through it would be hugely beneficial to the residents.

Big changes to Snugborough Road bridge and junction proposed

Fingal County Council are bringing forward a proposal for a major change to the Snugborough Road bridge and junction. This proposal is currently out for public consultation. The key details are:

  • Upgrading the existing five-arm signalised junction at Snugborough Rd/N3 off-ramp/Blanchardstown Centre. Widen all road approaches, provide new high quality pedestrian/cyclist facilities and new public transport priority measures.
  • Removal of right hand turning movement from Waterville onto the Snugborough Road.
  • Removal of existing roundabout at Snugborough Rd/N3 on-ramp/Waterville and construction of 2 new signalised junctions in its place.
  • Construction of new bridge structures over the N3 and over the Tolka Valley.
  • Replace existing ramp access to Tolka Valley Park with access at similar grade.

Full details and images can be found here.

If you want to make a submission on this proposal, it can be made in writing to the Senior Executive Officer, Planning Department, Fingal County Council, Main Street, Swords, Co. Dublin. Submissions can also be made online here. The Council will consider all submissions before a final decision is made on the proposal.

The deadline is close of business on Thursday, 23rd February, 2017. Please feel free to forward me on a copy of your submission at rodericogorman@gmail.com

New Census figures show Dublin 15 needs public transport investment to deal with increased population

Table of Top-Ten fastest growing Electoral Districts in the country

Table of Top-Ten fastest growing Electoral Districts in the country

Today’s initial Census 2016 figures show that of the top-ten fastest growing electoral districts in the country, three are located in the Dublin 15 area. These are Blanchardstown-Blakestown (which includes Ongar), The Ward (including Tyrrelstown) and Blanchardstown-Abbotstown (including Waterville). The Census is giving statistical proof of something that Dublin 15 residents know all too well. More and more houses are being built, but the services, particularly in the area of public transport, are not being provided to match.

Last year I highlighted how the Capital Infrastructure Plan 2016-2021 delivered little for Dublin West in terms of improving our public transport infrastructure. For example, no funding was provided in it for the Bus Rapid Transit scheme from Ongar to UCD. This was despite the fact that the BRT is regarded as the major transport solution for the Ongar/West Blanchardstown area.

As these Census results demonstrate the sustained population growth in Dublin 15, it is essential that the new Minister for Transport review the Capital Infrastructure Plan before 2021 and give funding for projects in west Dublin. We cannot afford five years of traffic gridlock.

Proposed Traffic Calming measures along the Waterville Distributor Road

Map of proposed traffic calming measures opposite Waterville Park

Map of proposed traffic calming measures opposite Waterville Park

Fingal County Council is bringing forward a proposal for a traffic calming scheme along the Waterville Distributor Road (opposite Waterville Park).

  • Double yellow lining along each side of the road
  • Four uncontrolled pedestrian crossing points at various intervals on the Waterville Distributor Road
  • Appropriate signage and lining where necessary

The location of these can be seen on the map overleaf.

If you would like to make a submission on this proposal, please contact:

Mr. Mick Carroll, Administrative Officer, Operations Department, Fingal County Council, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

Alternatively, you can make a submission online here.

The deadline for comments is 4:30pm on Friday 17th June. Feel free to forward me on a copy of your views at rodericogorman@gmail.com

These comments will be discussed at a meeting of the Council later in the summer, where a final decision will be taken as to whether to proceed with the scheme or not.

I have received a commitment from the National Transport Authority regarding consultation with residents in the event of future level crossing closures

Response from NTA to me confirming commitment to consult with residents in event of new proposals to close level crossings

Response from NTA to me confirming commitment to consult with residents in event of new proposals to close level crossings

I am delighted to have received confirmation from the National Transport Authority (NTA) that, if there are future proposals to close level crossings in the Dublin 15 area, the NTA will engage in genuine consultation with affected local communities, beyond any consultation that is required under legislation.

This confirmation was contained in a letter to me from Anne Graham, the Chief Executive of the NTA. This forms an important guarantee for Dublin 15 residents which will ensure that their views are not ignored in any future changes.

The attempt to close the Porterstown Road level crossing a number of years ago was badly mishandled and was a top-down attempt to impose a decision on a local community. Vigorous activism by local residents blocked the proposal, but the entire episode undermined confidence in the NTA. Since then, I have been working to ensure that a new approach is taken by the organisation, in the event that it seeks to make changes to the level crossings in the future.

Within Fingal County Council, I successfully submitted an amendment to the draft Fingal Development Plan to ensure that the Council officials accept the principle of prior consultation regarding the future of the level crossings. Now, I have also secured acceptance of this principle form the National Transport Authority.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland must act to provide guarantees on M50 noise

Residents in Laurel Lodge and along the M50 must not be subject to continuous noise pollution.

Residents in Laurel Lodge and along the M50 must not be subject to continuous noise pollution.

Since getting elected to the Council, I’ve been working to get Transport Infrastructure Ireland to take steps to commit to residents living along the M50 that it will reduce noise pollution coming from the Motorway. Transport Infrastructure Ireland is the body that has taken over responsibility for roads and motorways from the National Roads Authority (NRA) in the last 6 months.

In September 2014, I and other local councillors attended a public meeting arranged to discuss the persistent noise and air pollution issues being generated by the M50. Since then, I have been pursuing the issue within Fingal County Council, and successfully lobbied to get a noise monitor installed in the area.

I have repeatedly attempted to get the National Roads Authority to attend a meeting of the Council to answer questions about the pollution issues and how they can be addressed. The NRA has now been restructured into a new organisation called Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). At my request, Fingal’s Director of Services for Operations, Ethna Felten, wrote to TII regarding possible measures to reduce noise and air pollution along the M50. At this time, TII are taking the position that they only have to undertake sound-proofing works on new roads or when works are being undertaken on an existing road”.

Currently, I am focusing on achieving two specific goals. Firstly, I want Fingal to secure a commitment from TII that when they are next resurfacing the M50, they will use a noise reducing surface, such as is used at the Newlands Cross bridge, along the entire Dublin 15 section. Secondly, I have a motion down to insert an objective in the new Fingal Development Plan, which is currently being drafted, that noise reduction barriers would be installed along the Laurel Lodge boundary.

While the M50 is a hugely important piece of transport infrastructure, it is not fair that those living close to it should have their quality of life affected, particularly since it was widened. Transport Infrastructure Ireland must take basic steps to reduce the noise levels for people living along the most noisy sections, particularly at Laurel Lodge and Diswellstown.

Response to me from Ethna Felten, FCC Director of Services for Operations

Response to me from Ethna Felten, FCC Director of Services for Operations

 

Lack of funding for Ongar to UCD Bus Rapid Transit scheme is big disappointment for Dublin West

In response to a motion I put down at the Local Area Committee this week, Fingal County Council have basically accepted that the Bus Rapid Transit scheme from Ongar to UCD isn’t going to happen within the next five years. This is a huge let down for commuters across Dublin West, as this scheme would have had the potential to significantly decrease journey times into the city centre and out to UCD.

The Council, who had been working with the National Transport Agency on initial plans for the BRT, noted that no funding has been provided for this in the 2016-2021 Capital Infrastructure Plan. While the Department of Transport have stated that they are still considering the project (in a response to a query from the Gazette Newspaper), it is obvious that no money will be provided in the next five years.

This news is deeply worrying. In the Greater Dublin Area Draft Transport Strategy, the BRT is regarded as the major transport solution for the Ongar/West Blanchardstown area. There would be those of us who think it isn’t enough to meet Dublin 15’s public transport needs, but it was the only scheme on the table. Now, it isn’t going to get funding.

The Government’s recently published Capital Infrastructure Plan has delivered little for Dublin West in terms of improving our public transport infrastructure. As new houses are built in Carpenterstown, Ongar and Ashtown, we need sustained investment in public transport infrastructure to allow people commute easily in and out of the city.

Response from Fingal County Council