Archive for the 'Transport' Category

Public consultation on 30kmph speed limits in Dublin 15

Fingal County Council is currently undertaking a statutory public consultation on whether to reduce the speed limit to 30kmph in a number of estates in Dublin 15. The following estates are included and if you click on the link, you will be brought to a map of the area covered in each one:

St. Mochtas

Castleknock Park

Waterville

Beechfield

Castlecurragh

Tyrrelstown

Littlepace

Should you wish to make a comment on the proposal, please contact:

Administrative Officer, Operations Department, Fingal County Council, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 or e-mailed to roads@fingal.ie.

The deadline is 4:30 pm on Tuesday, 24th October 2017.

Feel free to drop me a copy of your submission at rodericogorman@gmail.com.

Tendered bus routes must provide same or improved level of service to D15 commuters

Today the National Transport Authority announced that the private bus company Go-Ahead has won the tender to operate a number of bus routes which used to be operated by Dublin Bus. It is now vital that both the NTA and the Government ensures that there is no deterioration of the standard of services on the tendered routes. The real test of this tendering process is whether services for commuters actually improve on these routes.

Around a third of the routes that will be operated by Go-Ahead pass through the Dublin 15 area (17a, 76a, 220, 236, 238, 239, 270). While most of the journeys are orbital, rather than going directly into the city centre, they provide a vital link between the outer suburbs and key locations such as the Blanchardstown Town Centre, Dublin City University, Beaumount Hospital and Connolly Hospital. They are especially important for students and elderly people.

As a daily user of the 17a, I’ll be watching closely to ensure there is no decrease in the frequency or reliability of the service provided to commuters. If this does happen, the NTA must intervene immediately.

Review of Dublin 15 bus routes must create more direct routes to city centre and facilitate local communities

Later this week I’ll be attending a seminar being organised by the National Transport Authority on the review of routes in the Dublin 15 area. This is part of the major Busconnects scheme to improve public transport across the city.

It is essential that the review of bus routes that the National Transport Authority is undertaking ensures that there are more direct routes from those communities at the very edge of Dublin, straight into the city centre. While the 37, 38 and 39 routes all now have regular services, it still takes an extremely long time to get from places like, Ongar, Tyrrelstown or Carpenterstown to the city centre, mainly because the buses have to travel such long routes and make so many stops. There needs to be more services which just serve these estates on the edge of the city and then go directly into town. This would be far more attractive for commuters.

Another regular complaint I get from people living in Blanchardstown is how difficult it is to get to Castleknock or the Blanchardstown Town Centre during the day. A number of years ago, the frequency of services passing through Blanchardstown village and the Clonsilla Road was significantly reduced. This has limited the options for people, particularly older persons, who are willing to use the bus if there is a consistent services. I hope we can do something to reverse this in the review.

This review of local bus services, combined with the proposed introduction of a Bus Rapid Transit route from Blanchardstown Centre to UCD, create the opportunity to radically enhance bus services in Dublin 15. I’m looking forward to working with the National Transport Authority to improve the commuter experience.

If you have any suggestions they would like me to feed into the process, please get in touch.

Bad news for commuters as NTA says no extra peak-time services on Maynooth line

Pic - NTA Response on Maynooth capacity

I recently asked Eamon Ryan TD to put a question to the Minister for Transport about increasing capacity on the Maynooth line at peak times. The question was responded to by the National Transport Authority (NTA).

The NTA response will be a big concern to commuters in stations like Clonsilla, Coolmine and Castleknock as it says that peak services cannot be increased further. Those of use using these services know that trains have become increasingly packed in the mornings and the addition of new commuters through the significant housebuilding going on in Carpenterstown and at Hansfield is only going to add more pressure.

In the letter, the National Transport authority stated, “… all available rolling stock is fully utilised at peak times and therefore at present it would not be possible to add any additional peak time services on the Maynooth or M3 Parkway lines. The current level of services is fully utilising existing track and signalling capacity on the routes and the implementation of additional signalling coupled with the removal of level crossings would be required for further services at this times”.

While I welcome the commitment made by the NTA for increased off-peak services, a failure to carry more people at peak times is going to severely limit Dublin 15’s ability to develop further. A key project must be the upgrading of the Maynooth line to DART standard. While this is planned for in the Transport Strategy for the Dublin Area, that document stretches up to 2035, which is far too long away.

The Census 2016 figures reveals that three of the top-ten fastest growing areas in the entire country are in Dublin 15. We must provide real transport options for people who want to live and work here.

A survey is currently been undertaken to get commuter’s views about what type of bus service we would like to see in our city. It is worth while filling it out here.

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.