My brief response to the consultation on a draft Fingal Climate Action Plan focussed on the importance of a more detailed public participation process for taking climate action to achieve the 40% reduction in emissions which is a target we signed up to in the Covenant of Mayors . I advocate a major focus by Fingal County Council on actions to reduce transport emissions, as transport is the largest emission sector and one for which Fingal has significant influence.
This will be coming back to the Council for final decision in either April or May.
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.
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
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.
My submission to An Bord Pleanála
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
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.