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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Government sit on hands as commuters stand on trains

201810183938446104723565557The National Transport Authority has confirmed to me that refurbished carriages will now not be ordered to increase capacity on trains serving Sallins/Hazelhatch and Maynooth and Leixlip.

It has now emerged that refurbished carriages are not a financially viable option to expand the rail fleet. This now leaves commuters stuck. The only short term option appeared to be these refurbished carriages which would have come as great relief to those in Maynooth, Kilcock, Sallins and Hazelhatch.   Continue Reading →

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 →

New Timetable for Kilcock Train Station

irishrail2I can confirm a new timetable is in effect for Kilcock rail station. The timing which may be of interest to most is the 08.08 departure which will move to 07.51.

There will be subsquent changes to stops on the Maynooth line as the train continues it journey into Dublin. You can view the new timetable here.

Extra Capacity for Sallins and Maynooth trains

irishrail2I recently questioned the Taoiseach on the need for better public transport for the greater Dublin area.  Currently the car parks at the Sallins and Naas station are averaging 165% to 175% capacity and other stations in the area experience similar problems.  With the car parks operating so far over capacity, anyone arriving past 7.30 a.m. would have no chance at a space.  I have been advised by Irish Rail that they would gladly expand the car park, provided the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport allow funding.  Continue Reading →