I am delighted to have received confirmation from the National Transport Authority (NTA) that, if there are future proposals to close level crossings in the Dublin 15 area, the NTA will engage in genuine consultation with affected local communities, beyond any consultation that is required under legislation.
This confirmation was contained in a letter to me from Anne Graham, the Chief Executive of the NTA. This forms an important guarantee for Dublin 15 residents which will ensure that their views are not ignored in any future changes.
The attempt to close the Porterstown Road level crossing a number of years ago was badly mishandled and was a top-down attempt to impose a decision on a local community. Vigorous activism by local residents blocked the proposal, but the entire episode undermined confidence in the NTA. Since then, I have been working to ensure that a new approach is taken by the organisation, in the event that it seeks to make changes to the level crossings in the future.
Within Fingal County Council, I successfully submitted an amendment to the draft Fingal Development Plan to ensure that the Council officials accept the principle of prior consultation regarding the future of the level crossings. Now, I have also secured acceptance of this principle form the National Transport Authority.