***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.
My submission to An Bord Pleanála focuses in particular on the inadequate assessment of the proposed effluent outfall near Ireland’s Eye and the lack of evaluation of tertiary treatment of the effluent and a longer sea outfall. Continue reading →
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 →
Fingal County Council is planning to develop housing at Donabate. The Council has issued a “market sounding” document on etenders.gov.ie, which refers to a mixture of private houses for sale at market prices, “affordable” private houses to be sold at a discount to market rates, and social houses. I have asked them to look into developing cost rental housing for the following reasons:
Cost rental provides secure affordable accommodation to the large segment of the population who do not qualify for social housing but are unable to secure a mortgage to buy.
Cost rental housing remains permanently affordable, unlike “affordable” housing which may only be affordable once, as it will in time be sold on at a market rent.
Because the costs of development are fully recovered the capital can be reused for further cost rental housing development.
Cost rental will facilitate social mix because HAP can be applied to make up the rent for lower income tenants.
In cities where it has been provided in quantity, cost rental has a moderating effect on rents.
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.
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
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.
Fingal County Council is reducing pesticide use, implementing policy changes sought by Grern Councillors. This includes both letting wild plants grow in some areas and trialling safer alternatives to conventional pesticides.
As reported to this month’s Council meeting, alternatives including steam and foam are being used to deal with weeds coming up in locations like paving cracks. Visitors to Malahide Demesne may notice the smell of vinegar which is being used as a substitute for the controversial weedkiller Glyphosate.
Commenting on the implementation of the new policy, Cllr. David Healy said: “Phasing out pesticides is vital to protect our insects, particularly the pollinating insects which have such an important role in ecosystems. Our parks and open spaces must be places where nature can thrive. Green thinking says ‘think globally, act locally’ and we are very glad that Fingal is putting this into practice.”
Cllr Roderic O’Gorman commented: “It is good to see Fingal responding to the public concerns at the use of toxic chemicals in public places. As Councillors we hear these concerns first-hand. When people visit their local parks and open spaces, they want to be confident that these are safe and healthy places, in which they can let their children play freely.”
The update given to Fingal County Council’s monthly meeting regarding the plan can be found at p47 of these minutes.
My submission which led to the change in policy (including some photos of non-use of herbicides elsewhere) is available here.