I’ve written to the new Transport Minister, Pascal Donohoe, in relation to a commitment made by his predecessor, Minister Varadkar, in June of this year. In response to concerns being expressed across Dublin 15 about the potential closure of level crossings, Minister Varadkar circulated a leaflet locally in which he stated that no further efforts to close level crossings on the Maynooth line would be made prior to the end of 2018. He further stated that, in future, “consultation with local residents will take place long before any plans are put on public display”.
The attempt to close the Porterstown Road level crossing in late 2013 – early 2014, with minimal engagement with local residents, deeply angered the community in the Clonsilla area. It has generated concerns in communities such as Coolmine and Ashtown that a similar top-down approach will be adopted towards the level crossings in these areas.
On behalf of residents living in the area, I have asked Minister Donohoe to restate the commitments given by Minister Varadkar that a) no further attempts to close these level crossings will be made before late 2018 and b) where there are proposals to close level crossings, residents will be consulted before planning document go on public display.
Having already revealed Irish Rails long term plans for these level crossings through my freedom of information request, I will continue to work with residents to ensure that they are fully involved in any proposals for these level crossings.