I’m pleased to see that Minister Varadkar has issues a letter clarifying some issues regarding the proposals to close level crossings in Dublin 15. This issue first came to public attention late last year with the attempt to close the Porterstown Road LC, but also applies at Coolmine and Clonsilla.
The Minister has stated that no work will take place until the end of 2018 at the earliest.
He has also stated that “… consultation with local residents will take place long before any plans are put on public display”.
I think this statement is really important. When I brought information into the public domain about what was being considered by the National Transport Authority and Fingal County Council through a Freedom of Information request, it was obvious that a lot of research had taken place without any public consultation. This research formed the basis of the attempt to close the Porterstown Road LC.
While we need to improve rail infrastructure across Dublin 15, it is vital that local communities who will be directly impacted by any changes are fully consulted and not railroaded (excuse the bad pun) into situations by public authorities.
I would expect that if Minister Varadkar is no longer Minister for Transport in 2018, whoever succeeds him must fulfil this commitment for full and early engagement with residents.