Update on Transport links across Kildare North

James Lawless traffic chaosOn 14th November, 2018, the 8 Kildare Oireachtas Reps met with the National Transport Authority to discuss public transport services for County Kildare.

The key points, with responses, that I raised are as follows:

1) Capacity on Trains: I said there was nowhere near enough capacity on trains, that trains serving Sallins and Hazelhatch were full before even arriving at station many mornings, that additional carriages were badly needed. I also said that the LUAS was full when trains arrived into Heuston at peak morning times and that a shuttle service LUAS should be ran from Heuston into city centre at peak times.

RESPONSE: NTA agreed to restore the LUAS shuttle service from Heuston into city centre at peak times. They said procuring additional carriages is very difficult for many reasons. International procurement is more difficult with Brexit. Irish trains are on a different guage to other countries. Older trains cost almost as much to refurbish as it does to buy new ones. They hope to place an order for additional carriages from UK and make the necessary modifications; this may take 12-18 months but they are working on it. They also suggested some plans to try stagger peak loads over a longer window (6-10) so as to spread demand across those times.

2) Sallins Rail Station Carpark: I pointed out the severe pressure on Sallins carpark in mornings at present and the near impossibility of getting a space after 7.30am. Project underway to provide additional 270 spaces but has to go through planning permission and possible zoning change of parish lands.

RESPONSE: Works are as per initial schedule however and planning, design and build should be complete by end of next year with extra parking provided onstream in 2020.

3) Extra rail services from city centre (Pearse/Tara/Grand Canal Dock) to Hazelhatch and Sallins in the evenings to be rolled out next month. Draft timetable in consultation. I said the new evening trains were welcome but the need to change train at Hazelhatch on the way back and the delays involved were unacceptable.

RESPONSE: NTA agreed to see could they run more direct evening trains to Sallins through tunnel and/or could change waiting times be better aligned.

4) Kilcock train timetable: I said the station was hindered by the last train home leaving town approximately 7pm. Far more people would use it if could get home later.

RESPONSE: NTA agreed to consider as part of current timetable review.

5) Feeder Bus Network: I said much of the parking constraints at stations could be helped if the feeder bus system was expanded, e.g. from Clane to Sallins, Straffan to Hazelhatch on top of existing feeder bus routes.

RESPONSE: NTA will examine options on this in the medium-long term.

6) Bus Connects: I asked where the project was at following the consultation and public meetings during summer months.

RESPONSE: NTA are examining all feedback and hope to produce revised network proposals by Q2, 2019.

7) 139 Bus Service: I said the new bus service was very welcome but it made no sense that people could not get on and off between Naas-Sallins-Clane.

RESPONSE: NTA will consult with provider (JJ Kavanagh) with a view to improving both 139 and rapid town link and provide greater flexibility of options.

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Proposed new changes for Maynooth, Leixlip and Celbridge Dublin Buses

rS_0nvXJ_400x400Dublin Bus are overhauling their route network across the city and commuter belt.  Changes will take place to routes serving Celbridge, Maynooth and Leixlip. These are all only draft proposals and it is important that you have your say. You can see the detailed plans on busconnects.ie website or come to my information meeting on September 27th in the Courtyard Hotel, Leixlip at 20.30 to learn more. Continue Reading →

Selected to contest the next general election

c754c8c7-df40-43a5-b0ee-810919a621dbI have been nominated by the party membership to contest the next general election. The selection convention held in the Westrgrove, Clane selected two Fianna Fáil candidates to run in the next general election. It is a tremendous honour for me to be nominated by the members in Kildare North to contest the next election on behalf of the party. I would especially like to thank those cumainn that nominated me including Kill, Sallins, Naas, Prosperous, Carbury, Kilshanroe, Kilcock and the Old Carton cumann, Maynooth as well as all the individual party members who placed their faith in me again. Continue Reading →

Lobbying Ministers for Second Bridge in Celbridge

liffey-bridge-celbridge-300x225I have sought additional sources of funding for a second bridge in Celbridge by engaging with the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney to secure finances from the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF). The fund is currently closed but the Minister will consider reopening the fund following lobbying. You can read the full parlimentary question here.

The Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund main purpose is to alleviate infrastructural blockages with view to delivering houses to an area. Currently at peak times Celbridge Main Street comes to a standstill as commuters try navigate over the one bridge in the town, often taking a half hour or more to get to the Dublin Road from the Clane Road. Continue Reading →

State of the art national forensics laboratory for Celbridge

It is very welcome news that tenders have been issued for the building of a new forensics laboratory which will see a €60 million investment in the site in Backweston, Celbridge.

When completed this project will deliver a respected and admired laboratory to investigate DNA in line with international standards in the state.  To have this €60 million investment in Celbridge is very welcome news and continues the trend of having state of the art research centres in the town along with the Laboratory Services of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine which is already in place.

Locally it will bring many jobs, both during construction phase and when up and running. Currently the lab is located at Garda HQ in Dublin and I am delighted to see it move to us here in Kildare North. As my party spokesperson on Science and Technology I will keep the pressure on the Government to ensure this project moves swiftly.