I was delighted to speak at todays social media policy forum in Dublin Castle. It is vitally important we do regulate the advertising space for political adverts online.
You can view my speech below or examine the slides used on the day here.
I have spoken to Bus Éireann and the National Transport Authority overnight and again this morning and they have agreed an extension to the 126N nightlink service. Following our discussions they have agreed to extend the service for the next six weeks to see people up to and past the Christmas period.
While Bus Eireann maintain that the service is operating at a loss, the NTA have agreed to cover costs over the next few weeks to ensure people have a safe means of transport to get back home from Christmas outing in Dublin. Continue Reading →
I am pleased to confirm members from Broadford, Johnstownbridge, Cadamstown, Kilshanroe, and the surrounding areas who paid into the Balyna Group Water Scheme will be refunded. This is something I have regularly raised in the Dail and with senior council officials.
The council will be writing to members in the coming week with this notice.This is not ordinarily done by the Department but given the exceptional circumstances residents will be getting refunds-something which is very welcome
I’d like to thank the Gardai who attended my public meeting in Sallins on road safety last week. I have been liaising with them since, and with senior management in KCC.
As one of the measures to be taken, large anti-speeding road signs will be placed at the approach to Sallins village on Clane road. A Garda “Go Safe” speeding van will also be positioned outside of Castlefen. Additional Garda patrols have already been deployed in Sallins in recent days and that will continue. Continue Reading →
On 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.