Monthly Archive for October, 2008

Fingal CC needs to match Government measures to support cyclists

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has called on Fingal County Council to follow the Governments lead and implement more measures to encourage and support cycling. He was speaking after a number of announcements in the budget which were of benefit to cyclists.

In what was a very tough budget, one of the few positive points was the two new initiatives that the Government has brought forward to support cyclists. Firstly, a tax exemption on bicycles and bike safety equipment of up to €1,000 per person, for those who use it to cycle to work. This is to encourage employers help their employees meet the cost of switching to the bike.

Secondly, an investment of €5 million in upgrading cycling routes in Dublin City. This will be focused on improving safety for cyclists.

I’ve spoken to many people in Dublin 15 who have switched to cycling to work for a variety of reasons – it’s healthier, with the rise in fuel prices it’s cheaper and due to the traffic congestion in the area, its now often faster than the car! However, almost everyone I have spoken to have told me of some story regarding narrowly missed accidents.

In particular, many local cyclists have highlighted to me how dangerous it is to try and cycle toward Chapelizod and from there into town, with Tower Road near Castleknock College and the Knockmaroon Hill being particular blackspots. Some cyclists said they simply have to cycle on the footpath due to safety concerns.

The Government have made moves to make cycling more attractive and safer. Now it is up to Fingal County Council to play its part. There needs to be an examination of the volume and direction of cycle paths in the area. A look at the Dublin Transport Offices map of cycle lanes in Dublin 15 clearly shows that there is a big gap for cyclists between the Blanchardstown area and the new cycle lane along the N3 by the Phoenix Park racecourse development. Further, there are virtually no cycle lanes in and around Castleknock village.

Over the next two years, the Council needs to interact with cyclists in the area and learn what their specific needs are. Possibly, some consideration could be given to speaking to Waterways Ireland and arranging for a high quality cycle path to be developed alongside the Royal Canal.

Also, the Council should go further in developing the cycling/walking to school element of the Green Schools Programme, which has received extra funding from the Department of Transport over the year. Many parents would love to let their kids walk or cycle to school, but they are simply too scared to let them out on the roads in Dublin 15 because there are not enough cycle paths and pedestrian facilities are so poor.

In the run up to the local elections next June, I intend to focus strongly on the lack of cycling and pedestrian facilities across Castleknock, Carpenterstown and Blanchardstown. If I am elected to the Council next year, ensuring that those who wish to walk or cycle, be they young or old, will be able to do so will be a top priority for me.

Press Release – O’Gorman welcomes movement on blocked drains in Bramley

18/10/08

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman, has welcomed the response of Fingal County Council to his representations about blocked road drains in Bramley estate.

“A number of weeks ago I contacted the Transportation Department of Fingal County Council after I received a number of complaints about flooding caused by blocked drains on Bramley Green, Road and View. This flooding was made worse by the torrential rain that we experienced in August and early September”.

“I have received a response back from Fingal stating that the matter has been brought to the attention of the councils Roads Maintenance Department. I would hope that the unblocking is undertaking quickly, before the winter bad weather really sets in”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

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Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

Time up for energy inefficient lightbulbs

I was pleased to see that last week, John Gormley launched a consultation paper regarding the introduction of a ban on old, energy inefficient lightbulbs.

From March 2009, there will be a ban on the manufacture of energy inefficient bulbs of 75W or more. From that stage on, only energy-efficient bulbs of that size will be available to buy. I see this as a small but important move towards Ireland reducing its carbon emissions

Not only will these lightbulbs be better for the environment but they will save consumers money in the long run. The best energy efficient bulbs last 10 times longer than traditional bulbs and run on 20% of the electricity.

The full practicalities of the ban are being implemented in cooperation with Irish bulb producers. This ensures that the market will have sufficient time to respond to the new measures and that supplies to consumers will not be disrupted.

n launching this consultation process, Minister Gormley has been able to answer some of the concerns that have sprung up about the introduction of the ban. For example, traditional light bulbs will not be banned on fittings where there is no energy efficient alternative. Further, as regards disposal, most energy efficient lightbulbs, including all CFLs, are covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive (WEEE). This means that they can be disposed of at recycling centres free of charge. Used CFLs can also be returned to any outlet that sells them.

I’m also glad to see that the Labour Party is finally rolling in behind the scheme. As I pointed out here, initially Labour were very critical of this proposal, even though it formed part of the Labour Party General Election Manifesto. I’m pleased that they now recognise the benefits of this more by John Gormley.

Press Release – O’Gorman calls for more litter bins in Bramley estate

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman, has called on Fingal County Council to install new litter bins in Bramley estate in Carpenterstown.

“A significant number of residents in Bramley have told me that litter is a major problem in the estate. I was canvassing in the area recently and despite the best efforts of those who live there, there is a noticeable amount of rubbish, particularly on the green space. I’ve written to Fingal County Council and asked it to consider installing some new litter bins on the green between Bramley Park and Bramley View”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“In some ways, the amount of litter in the area isn’t that surprising, as Bramley is an extremely open estate which can be accessed from four sides – opposite Burnell Park, opposite the Carpenter, off the Carpenterstown Park east road and from Laverna. This means there is a large amount of pedestrian traffic going through the area – students going to and from Castleknock Community College and St Patricks NS, people coming back from the Carpenter at night etc. As there are currently no bins in the estate itself, this means that when people have cans, chip bags or cigarettes, they just throw the rubbish on the ground”.

“I hope the Council will give consideration to my proposal to locate new bins within Bramley. This would give those passing through somewhere to throw their litter, but it would also give the many residents who pick up rubbish on the green somewhere to dispose of it”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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Further Information

Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777