***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 →
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
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.
Fingal County Council is looking for input on identifying bathing waters in Fingal. Many heavily used bathing waters in the County are not recognised and therefore the water quality is not tested in accordance with the Bathing Water Directive. Untested waters include Balscadden Beach (below)
High Rock Malahide (below)
and Broadmeadow Estuary, intensively used for dinghy sailing and kayaking.
Please respond to the consultation if you swim in any of these areas or in any other area.
At yesterday’s Area Committee meeting we received this presentation on the Malahide to Donabate Greenway, which will run along the west side of the railway across the Broadmeadow Estuary. It is great to see the proposal so well advanced. I made some comments on the details which can be seen at item 23 of the webcast.
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
Six submissions were received from the public in relation to identifying bathing waters in Fingal. The Council evaluated all of them and decided none of the waters qualified. I had proposed Balscadden Beach and the Broadmeadow Estuary.
In relation to Broadmeadow Estuary, there is apparently a legal flaw in the Directive. The evaluation advises:
“The Bathing Water Directive does not recognise inland or coastal waters used for recreational purposes other than contact bathing. Water sports such as surfing, kayaking, or other recreational uses do not in themselves provide reason for identification as ‘bathing water’ unless supported by evidence of bathing within its normal context such as paddling, swimming, or similar water contact.”
I checked with the European Commission who agree with this interpretation. Even if not technically a bathing water it is essential that water quality here is monitored to protect public health and I will follow up.
At the Area Committee today it was confirmed that the NTA has approved €50,000 for a feasibility study into the Kinsealy Greenways proposal, following the Area Committee’s meeting with them in January.