Category Archives: Bayside/ Cois Bá

AIE request confirms that Iarnród Éireann hasn’t analysed the impact of a shuttle service from Howth Junction on local services

I have received a response from Iarnród Éireann to an Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) request. The request sought the following:

  • Any analyses of potential operational patterns involving a shuttle service between Howth Junction and Howth, requiring passengers to change at Howth Junction to access Bayside, Sutton and Howth.
  • Any analyses of the time delays or reduced capacity of the network at Howth Junction caused by the current arrangement where northbound trains to Howth cross the southbound track from Malahide.
  • Any analyses of the time savings or increased capacity of the network should one or more Howthbound trains be replaced by a shuttle service.
  • A copy of the terms of reference for “studies which will examine the doubling of track capacity between Dublin’s Connolly and Malahide train stations, where DART and intercity traffic currently share the same tracks”, for which funding was awarded on 22nd June.
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Information on sewage overflows

I have been campaigning for some years for Irish Water and Fingal County Council, who are their agents, to make information on all sewage overflows publicly available as soon as they happen. I was particularly concerned when a number of years ago we were told by Irish Water that there had been no sewage discharge at a particular location only to find out some months later that there had.

I believe the ongoing failure to make this information easily and immediately available to the public is a breach of the obligation of active dissemination in the Aarhus Convention and the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations.

I have made an AIE request for information about the sewer network and locations of discharges and overflows, as well as details of the overflows over recent years. Here’s the response:

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Submission to Dart+ North Consultation

My submission to Iarnród Éireann’s consultation on Dart+ North

It follows my previous observations.

Comments on Kilbarrack Road / Oscar Traynor Road cycle route design

I have sent the following observations to Dublin City Council in response to their public consultation:

Thanks very much for coming to the meeting of the Howth/Malahide Area Committee to present this cycle route.  As Chair of the Committee, I know I speak for the Committee as a whole that we welcome the improvements for active travel that you propose. 
The following comments (some of which were raised at that Committee but are repeated for completeness) are made with the goal of further improvements:

Orcas at junction narrowing

​The consultation document says that ​“radii of all the junctions are tightened up to a maximum radius of 6.0m with road marking.”​ This is very welcome. On the maps,​ in some locations. these are also marked by orcas. In others they aren’t. e.g. Alden Road, Verbena Avenue, Kilbarrack Avenue, St. Margaret’s Avenue etc.​ They should be marked by orcas/bollards at all junctions.​

​N​arrowing of wide side roads at junctions

As well as the radius of the kerb, the width of the road at the junction should be narrowed where it’s very wide (e.g. St. Margaret’s Avenue.)

Tonlegee Road/Raheny Road/ Grange Road junction. ​

This is a r​eal problem junction​ for less confident cyclists​. In the absence of a more fundamental redesign, steps need to be taken to ensure that the use of the junction is ​appropriate for mixed traffic. Maybe ​a)​ a 30km/h speed ​at this junction for the interim scheme​ and b) signage reminding cyclists to take the lane and reminding other road users to expect cyclists to take the lane.​

Kilbarrack Road/Howth Road junction​. 

This junction needs to be addressed in this scheme. There are​ no ​traffic light​ phase​s​ to access​ and leave the​ cycle route.​ The consultation documentation says​ “Cyclists are encouraged to access the existing two-way cycle lane along Howth Road via the proposed toucan crossing.” ​With the narrowness of the footpath, t​his is geometrically difficult for ​users of ​all bicycles, impossible for​ users of​ some​ bicycles (e.g. cargo bikes) at all times and impossible for all bicycles when there are people walking. I understand Fingal has already forwarded correspondence from one cargo bike user describing the diffi​culties she experiences at this junction; if this isn’t to hand, I would be happy to send it on.

Cycle lane width

The width of the cycle lane, stated to be 1.5m, is however showing in the drawings as less than 1.5m because of orcas placed in the cycle lane. They should be outside the cycle lane, between cycle lane and general lane.​

Bus stops

The scheme should provide island bus stops at any opportunity and should consider whether moving bus stops can help with achieving this.

The NTA is also considering how to extend the N6 to the coast as originally planned in the Bus Connects redesign, with a possible terminus at Blackbanks. It would be important to ensure that any new bus stops are well sited.​

Shops on Kilbarrack Road

Although this area is lined for parallel car parking between the cycle lane and the pavement, cars currently usually park diagonally, partly on the cycle lane and reverse out across the cycle lane. The proposal effectively intends to maintain the current road markings, which can be expected to mean that the current dangerous use of the road will continue. The scheme should provide for car parking outside the cycle lane.

Thanks for considering the above.

South Fingal Transport Study

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.

Draft Bus Connects submission


***Bus Connects consultation today Monday 17th September 2pm to 8pm Grand Hotel Malahide***

***Submission deadline 28th September***

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.

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Iarnród Éireann’s new timetable breaks some of the connections in our integrated public transport network

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.

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Fingal to work on improving cycling access to Howth/Malahide Secondary Schools

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

Design problems on Kilbarrack to Sutton coastal promenade

In May 2015 I proposed this motion:

“That the Chief Executive and Council remove all obstacles on the Coastal cycle route from Sutton to the Kilbarrack Road and bring forward a senstive design for providing lighting to the shadowed area of the cycle track and to remove the hazard posed by steps which cut into the track.”

Since then I have heard of collisions on the route due in particular to the lighting problem. Last month, April 2017, i raised the issue again:

Councillor D. Healy – Kilbarrack to Sutton Cycle Route. AI036623
“That the Chief Executive report on progress in relation to addressing the design flaws in the cycle route from Kilbarrack Road to Sutton including lighting, obstacles and steps as discussed at this Committee in May 2015 and October 2016.”

The cycletrack is due to be widened in the coming months by altering the lining. The bins will be moved out of the cycletrack and on to the footpath. The lining will be designed around the larger poles and the steps to guide bicycles around them.

Following discussion Mr. Stephen Peppard, Senior Executive Officer agreed to have the potential issues around the lighting examined by the Public Lighting Section and that further discussions would take place with the Traffic Engineers regarding the steps.
If you have direct or indirect experience of the difficulties caused by the current design, please let me know.

Access to train stations

Although all national and local policy talks about prioritising public transport, walking and cycling and ensuring as many people as possible can avail of it, it is often not implemented in practice.


Howth Malahide Area Committee (Services A – Operational Matters)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Councillor D. Healy – Signage to Sutton Dart Station. AI036626

“To ask the Chief Executive what progress has been made in relation to the provision of signs indicating the routes for pedestrians and cyclists from Dublin Road and Warrenhouse Road to Sutton Dart Station via Binn Éadair View and Railway Avenue and also in the opposite directions since the matter was raised at this Committee in May 2015.”


These laneways were intended for local access to the DART Station. It would be inappropriate to sign the area as a pedestrian and cycle route for the general public through these residential areas.


Wednesday 6th May, 2015



Question: Councillor D. Healy

“To ask the Chief Executive to provide signs indicating the routes for pedestrians and cyclists from Dublin Road and Warrenhouse Road to Sutton Dart Station via Binn Éadair View and Railway Avenue and also in the opposite directions?”

Reply: The area will be inspected and appropriate signage erected.



Between Sutton Train Station and Lauder’s Lane there is a pedestrian route. Unfortunately it is badly surfaced and after rain is a string of puddles. Iarnród Éireann met with the the Area Committee in June 2015 and promised to address it. I’m still following up the lack of progress in this.

Howth Junction