***Bus Connects consultation today Monday 17th September 2pm to 8pm Grand Hotel Malahide***
***Submission deadline 28th September www.busconnects.ie***
My draft submission is below. I would be interested in any feedback, positive or negative before I submit it.
1.Howth to city centre along the coast
The existing 31/31A service is well used. In addition to local residents and employees, including those whose trips are far from the railway stations, the passengers include a lot of tourists who might be using it instead of the Dart because of the scenic views as well as the direct access to stops on Howth Hill. The analysis carried out for Bus Connects seems to have a focus on residents’ access to work and education. It is not clear what data you are using for tourist trips on Dublin Bus.
Iarnród Éireann have announced new timetables to take effect on 9th September. This follows a public consultation in December 2015.
I responded to the consultation then pointing out the disimprovements which would result from having trains run through stations without stopping and a lack of timetabling for connections. Unfortunately, those changes are still proposed. I have followed up with IÉ today as follows:
Many people responded to the public consultation in 2015. Unfortunately, it seems as if those responses weren’t taken into account. Is there a document summarising the content of the input received to the consultation and IÉ’s responses to the submissions?
You seem to have reduced services to some areas more than in the proposal you put to consultation. It is simply not correct to say that “Howth Junction, Clongriffin and Portmarnock will be served by fewer weekday Northern Commuter services”. The timetable which has been put online shows no diesel services stopping at these stations. There’s a considerable amount of irritation at the fact that so many trains will now be passing through Portmarnock, Clongriffin and Howth Junction without stopping and that the travel patterns people have developed in reliance on the services will not be disrupted.
The road through Holywell / R125 needs more than the proposed traffic calming. Adding speed cushions to the R125 is not sufficient to deal with the dangerous situation which has been created here. The high speeds, high AADT and multiple lanes create a highly unpleasant and dangerous environment.The situation is terrible for pedestrians trying to cross who are required to walk along a narrow island with two lanes of traffic on each side. Passengers using westbound bus have to walk along a narrow footpath, with overgrown vegetation on one side and no buffer between them and motor vehicles which have come off the motorway at close to motorway speeds. Continue reading →
An Bord Pleanála has approved the Baldoyle to Portmarnock Greenway. Here’s the decision.
Provision of this important link for people walking and cycling in the Baldoyle and Portmarnock areas has been a priority for local residents and Councillors. This is an important part of a wider network. The use of segregated routes to link the suburban towns in the area is an approach I hope will be followed. This is also an amenity route similar to the coastal promenade from Sutton to Sandycove and gives access to the new parkland between Baldoyle and Portmarnock.
I particular welcome the scaling down of the lighting proposed for the route, which I called for in my submission. It is very positive to see An Bord Pleanála take proper account of the impact on bats and on the visual character of the Green Belt by requiring that the lighting be by bollards rather than the 6m poles originally proposed.
Walking and cycling are the highest priority modes in transport policy. Logically therefore, public transport infrastructure proposals should not only not obstruct or degrade walking and cycling routes, every opportunity they present to improve permeability, safety, convenience and attractiveness for walking and cycling should be taken. Any public transport proposal such as this one should also be a scheme to improve walking and cycling in areas being served and affected.
Friday is the deadline for observations on the proposed greenway from Baldoyle to Portmarnock. Observations should be made to An Bord Pleanála in relation to application 300840. My submission strongly supports the route which has been one of my main goals as a Councillor. The changes I propose to the application are that a) the lighting needs to be minimal to protect both the wildlife and the landscape and b) the path structure and surface need to be designed and built to a high standard.
Fingal County Council has applied to An Bord Pleanála for permission for a greenway between Baldoyle and Portmarnock. Details of the application are online here as well as in Baldoyle Library and the Council’s offices in Swords and Blanchardstown. Observations on the proposal can be made to An Bord Pleanála until 23rd March.
The cycling and walking route between Baldoyle and Portmarnock will provide for a high quality transport link and amenity route through the Green Belt between these towns. It responds to the demand from local residents for improved green transport opportunities along what is now a hostile stretch of road. It is part of the Bray to Balbriggan coastal greenway which the Green Party has been working for over many years.
The application is for a high quality route with pedestrians and cyclists separated. This recognises the importance of the route for transport cyclists as well as its role as an amenity for the public walking along the nature conservation area at Baldoyle Estuary and the Mayne River.
However, I am concerned about the proposal for 6m high lighting columns along the route. I will be proposing to An Bord Pleanála that these be replaced with low level lighting or path markings instead.
In response to my observation, An Bord Pleanála has deleted the Grange Road junction redesign from the planning permission.
These are the relevant findings in the inspector’s report:
“The proposed development includes works to increase the capacity of the signalised junction between Grange Road and Longfield Road. They would provide an extra lane on the Longfield Road approaching that junction, removing one that heads north away from the junction. They would also provide a left turning lane on the Grange Road approaching the junction from the east and move the signals there forward, removing an existing advance stop line for right-turning cyclists. The proposed works have been justified by the applicant and the Roads Division of the council by reference to modelling of vehicular movements, but an elected member has objected to them as they fail to provide a sufficient level of service for cyclists on a route identified for such in the development plan. The proposed works to the junction would diminish the level of service for cyclists travelling east on Grange Road by removing an advanced stop line and introducing another slip lane, but only to a limited extent. However the local area plan sets out a comprehensive set of proposals regarding roads and access that do not include the works to this junction. The details submitted in the course of the application do not address the potential impact of the proposed works on pedestrians and cyclists, nor do they address the role of Grange Road as an main route serving an area much wider than that covered by the LAP, or the implications of the designation of a school site beside the junction. In these circumstances it would not be prudent to authorise the works to the junction as part of the proposed development. If works are required to this junction, their effects would need to be properly considered by the council before the design was finalised. It would therefore be appropriate that the applicant’s contribution to such works was in the form of a special contribution under section 48(c) of the planning act.”
Design work is starting on the section of the coastal greenway beteen Sutton and Malahide. The consultants have been given a brief to produce a high quality amenity greenway along the coast. It will be part of the Fingal Coastal Way, leading on from the Sutton to Sandycove route around Dublin Bay, and connecting to the route across Broadmeadow Estuary from Malahide to Donabate.
The Baldoyle to Portmarnock section was taken first and is ready to go to An Bord Pleanála and formal public consultation, probably in October.
This informal consultation will look at the sections south and north of that stretch:
-from Sutton Creek and Sutton Cross to the Green belt north of Baldoyle and
-from the Sluice River south of Portmarnock to the railway line at Malahide Estuary.
The purpose of the information meetings is to set out the scope of the project and to start the discussion with local people and visitors of the issues, challenges and opportunities in designing the Greenway. All are welcome.
The dates and venues are:
Tuesday 17th October 1530 to 1930 – Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links
Wednesday 18th October 1530 to 1930 – Malahide Library
Thursday 19th October 1615 to 1930 – Baldoyle Library