This is my submission to An Bord Pleanála in relation to the application for the Greenway across the Broadmeadow Estuary from Malahide to Donabate.
A South Fingal Transport Study has been carried out for the Council. (This is in fulfilment of an objective in the County Development Plan which specified the Study would include public consultation; unfortunately the public consultation hasn’t happened.)
The Study contains strong recommendations about prioritising walking, cycling and public transport in the area, and will be discussed at a Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Policy Committee meeting on Monday 28th.
The report on the Kinsealy Greenways Feasibility Study for which funding was obtained in 2017 following discussion in the County Development Plan process in 2016 has been published. It will be discussed at the Area Committee in March.
Overall, the report demonstrates the feasibility and value of providing dedicated greenway cycle routes between the towns and villages in the area.
There are a few aspects of it which I’m not clear about, and I’ll post updates when I receive them.
At the moment Fingal has no public drinking water fountains. This is in contrast to the situation in many other urban areas across Europe, where drinking water fountains are provided in public streets and parks. I raised it in the Howth/Malahide Area Committee in March and June, and this month I raised it at the full Council, as did Cllr. Barry Martin.
On foot of my motion, the Council established a policy of providing drinking water fountains in parks, on streets, and at beaches. The first step is the provision of two water fountains in the Howth Malahide Area in the next few weeks.
***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
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.
I have made the following submission in relation to traffic calming proposals:
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
Following discussions with teachers in two of the local secondary schools, I proposed the following motion to the Area Committee last week:
“That the Council consults with students and teachers in the secondary schools in the Howth / Malahide Area in relation to the improvements needed in order to improve the safety of the access routes to the schools and in order to facilitate an increase in the numbers of students travelling to and from school by foot or by bicycle and a reduction in the numbers travelling to school by car.”
The motion was agreed at the meeting. I think there is a mixture of approaches needed, varying between schools. Two important aspects of this are the Green Schools Committees, one of whose targets for getting Green Flags is transport, and the potential to get students involved in solving the problems they experience cycling to school
Unfortunately, the threat to tarmac over some of the playing pitches at Bridgefield in Malahide Demesne has reappeared.
A report on parking in Malahide was brought to the March Area Committee. It seems to be intended to make the case for the conversion of some of the Bridgefield pitches to car parking.
The proposal to convert playing pitches to car park was originally made in 2009. The Council initiated a Part 8 process but abandoned it due to the strength of public opposition.
The proposal reappeared in late 2015, together with a proposed Forest Adventure Area. Despite the fact that the Law Agent advised that the relevant planning regulations hadn’t been complied with, a bare majority on the Council approved the proposal. That proposal was abandoned in 2016 following a High Court challenge by local resident Noel Mahon.
I will continue to oppose any further conversion of parkland to car parking. We need to protect the Demesne for future generations, improving access by foot, bicycle and public transport.
This recurrent proposal is undermining public confidence in the management by the Council of the wonderful asset. In September I proposed that there should be some sort of formal or informal input from park users and the local community. The proposal didn’t get the necessary level of support but I think it is worth returning to.