Monthly Archive for March, 2014

Slip road to Total Fitness Gym site needs to be blocked off due to security concerns

Roderic O'Gorman calls for slip road to Total Fitness gym be closed due to security concerns

I’m calling for the slip road down to the Total Fitness gym site, which is off the N3/Connolly Hospital entrance, to be blocked off until the site has been sold and is use again.  At present, the road often has a number of cars parked on it. There is significant concern that the location, which is raised up over the N3, is being used as an observation post by burglars, from where they can keep watch on nearby estates and houses along the N3. This concern has also been expressed by the Gardai.

In order to prevent this risk, I believe that the slip road should be temporarily blocked off until the site has been sold and the slip road is in regular use again. I’ve written to Fingal County Council and requested that they examine undertaking the road closure.

By-election should be held on the same day as Local and European Elections

Following Patrick Nulty’s resignation from the Dail, I think it is essential that the Government holds the by-election for Dublin West on the same day as the European and Local elections. While this by-election is sudden, holding it on the same day will  save money and allow the people of Dublin West have their full complement of representation in the Dail as soon as possible. Even though the legislation allows the by-election to be held up to six months after the vacancy arises, there is no reason to wait that long in this situation.

Bus Rapid Transit route must provide stop for Blanchardstown village

Earlier in the week, I made my submission to the Natioanal Transport Authority (NTA) regarding the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route between Ongar and UCD

I welcomed the proposal as a short to medium term means of addressing the needs of some commuters in west Dublin. The major beneficiaries of this scheme will be persons living in the far west of Dublin 15 (Ongar, Clonsilla, Blakestown), areas that traditionally have been at the very end of long bus routes.

In my submission, I emphasised the importance of having a stop that caters for the Blanchardstown village area. This could prove difficult as currently the 39A only stops on its outbound route along the N3 at the end of the River Road. While this could also be used by the proposed BRT route, I think a similar stop must be provided for inbound traffic on the other side of the N3. Such a stop would cater for commuters from Blanchardardstown village, the growing Waterville estate near the National Aquatic Centre and Connolly Hospital.

Obviously, some means of crossing the N3 will have to be provided to make this stop a reality. However, in light of the current and growing population around Blanchardstown village, I believe that this would be worth the investment.

I look forward to see the proposals on this point from the NTA at a later date.

Cycle lane submission: No turning restrictions for Mill Road

Last week I made my submission to the public consultation on the Blanchardstown to Phoenix Park cycle lane. I welcome this proposal as it will make cycling between Blanchardstown, Castleknock and the Park significantly safer. However, there are a number of elements that I believe should be altered to improve the overall effectiveness of the lane and ensure that it does not impact too greatly on existing faculties. These formed the basis of my submission.

A number of residents of Blanchardstown village raised concerns with me that the removal of the right hand turning lane onto Mill Road driving away from town may indicate that the Council intends to completely ban a right hand turn at this point. Such a development, if it should occur, would be hugely burdensome on the people living along Mill Road and the surrounding estates. I would strongly oppose such a ban and I hope that the rumours that it is proposed are incorrect.

The proposal as it currently stands requires the removal of several mature trees along the Castleknock Road at Laurel Lodge in order to make way for the construction of the cycle ramp. It has been indicated that the Council accepts that these trees are not currently requiring removal and have a medium term life span. As such, I would support the routing of the cycle lane ramp around these trees, rather than seeing them removed.

I strongly welcome the proposal to widen the footpath linking Roselawn Road to Castleknock Station along the Granard Bridge. It is important that the new cycle/pedestrian bridges over the canal and the railway are designed in a way that is sympathetic with the existing stonework. I would suggest that painting the new metal work in an olive green colour (as is used on the metal work along the Grand Canal cycle way near Leeson Street Bridge) is preferable to the metallic look on the pedestrian bridge at Coolmine and Clonsilla stations.

Within Blanchardstown village, the creation of the cycle lane is going to require the removal of at least 11 car parking spaces along the Main Street. While it is not strictly in the remit of this consultation, it is vital that the Council act to secure affordable car parking in the village, to encourage people to shop here and to prevent housing estates off Main Street being used for car parking.

Finally, it is important that the new cycle lane is integrated with existing cycling infrastructure. This is particularly significant at the Snugborough Road junction, which can be difficult for cyclists to navigate and where the existing cycle path is significantly less developed than this proposal. I would also emphasise the need to develop further cycle lanes in the Carpenterstown area. I think one travelling from the Blanchardstown Town Centre, though Coolmine, down the Coolmine Road and then along the Carpenterstown Road under the M50 and onto White’s Road would be beneficial as it would link the area to the Phoenix Park and also create a safe route for children cycling to Castleknock College.

Further update on street lighting: Lights in Connolly Hospital to be repaired

I’ve mentioned before that since the storms over the last few months, a significant number of public street lights have been out of operation along Mill Road in Blanchardstown and in the grounds of Connolly Hospital. This has left this stretch of road extremely dark and a security risk for pedestrians walking between Blanchardstown village and either the Hospital or Waterville estate.

I contacted Fingal County Council on the matter and they have repaired the two lights along Mill Road. I’ve also contacted the management of Connolly Hospital and they have confirmed to me that the Estates Department are currently working on repairing the four street lights in the grounds of the hospital. This should ease safety concerns for persons using this stretch of road or waiting at the bus stops in the grounds of the Hospital”.

The final issue on this stretch of road is that two lights in the underpass where the Mill Road goes under the N3 are still out of operation. I’ve already contacted the National Roads Authority on this issue and I will continue liaise with them until they confirm that they will have these lights repaired.