I recently met with Irish Rail to raise concerns regarding the rail services in North Kildare. In what was a positive meeting I discussed the main issues that commuters who use the train services daily, including myself, have found need improving. Irish Rail were receptive to these opinions and a number of improvements and reviews were agreed at the meeting.
- A new timetable is due for publication in early 2016. This new timetable will address the evening gap in both Hazelhatch and Sallins train stations. A draft version of the timetable will be made available and commuters will have the opportunity to have their say.
- Irish Rail agreed to review the 23.10 last train time.
- The issue of lack of awareness of the shuttle bus from Celbridge to Hazelhatch station was brought up. Irish Rail made the point that the shuttle timetable is on their website and has been running this facility for a long time.
I’ve echoed calls from the Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath TD for banks to introduce meaningful cuts to their standard variable mortgage interest rates ahead of the 1st July deadline issued by the Minister for Finance. The exorbitant rates charged on standard variable rate mortgages is something Fianna Fáil has been highlighting for months now. I also had a motion passed about this at the party’s Ard Fheis in April.
With only a few days left to the 1st July deadline, the response so far from the banks to Minister Noonan’s request for lower rates has been nothing short of pitiful. The likelihood now is that some minimal changes will be announced in the next few days in the hope the cry for lower rates will go away.
I have obtained a breakdown on the cost of the three delayed roads projects at the recent Naas Municipal District meeting. As I’ve stated on countless occasions over the years, the Sallins bypass is vital for Sallins and taking the gridlock out of the village. The M7 widening is equally important to prevent the rat run that was worsening in Kill and Johnstown since Newlands Cross opened and that the Osberstown Interchange at Kerry Foods was vital to hook it all together.
I have been consistently keeping the pressure on for these projects to progress and Minister Donohue stated on Wednesday morning that he acknowledged the importance of these projects for the area and indeed region. I have now obtained figures showing that the estimated cost of Osberstown Interchange is approximately €16 million and of Sallins By Pass is approximately €39 million. The highest project in terms of cost is the M7 widening with a price tag of €55 million. The government need to keep their promise to deliver on these projects. These projects are not just important for the locality, but they have greater importance for the wider Leinster region and the busy Dublin-Cork motorway route.
The proposals from Applegreen to develop a new facility at the old Cemex/ Concrete Pipes site at Naas are very welcome, to include a garage forecourt, central corporate office block and a research and training facility. I have been seeking progress on this site for some time and I’ve repeatedly raised the matter at Council over the past twelve months.
At recent meetings of the Naas Area Committee, I tabled motions seeking action on the site to both clean up its appearance and attract new development as I felt it was becoming an eye sore for the approach to Naas and was not the right image to present to visitors to the town. This is now very positive to see this project coming on-stream and moving forward.