Sallins Area Plan – Support for Amenity Lands

Sallins_Harbour

Mock Image of Sallins Harbour with Boardwalks

The Sallins Local Area Plan has almost concluded its rounds of consideration in the council and has been sent to the Minister for final sign-off. As expected the Minister has raised a concern over Alteration 20 relating to the additional residential zoning on the Bodenstown road. However the key piece of this jigsaw is the 40 acres of Amenity land that come with it. This was supported by all Councillors unanimously when the plan was going through as the community gain behind this proposal will allow for development of multiple playing pitches, running track, a new community building for all the different groups in the village. It will bridge the gap which has long existed of over development without any facilities in the village to go with it. The Minister has invited submissions on the Alteration before he makes a ruling and I include my submission here.

Extra Bus Service to Sallins Station Secured

I was delighted to secure a change to the 139 bus route which will provide Clane commuters with a new public transport link to Sallins train station. I recently wrote to the NTA suggesting that the 139 route should be allowed to be used for short hop journeys between Clane, Sallins and Naas, therefore providing support to the train service. The NTA has agreed to these changes and they informed me that they were effective from August 2019.

I am delighted that the NTA has agreed to implement my suggestions. The severe pressure on parking facilities at Sallins train station is well recorded. While there is work underway to provide a second carpark it has always seemed to me that more public transport links to the station was an obvious solution to the dependency on parking spaces. The 139 was introduced a cross county route and it was a positive development, however the prohibition on short hop journeys meant that it offered little support to commuter rail services. I am pleased that this has now changed, and I am hopeful that this, along with the eventual opening of the new carpark, will soon lead to an improvement in the current situation.

I also raised the need for bike storage and parking facilities at Sallins station with the NTA and they have committed to providing more bike stands while also looking into the option of more secure bike lockers if there is sufficient demand for them. Additional facilities for cyclists are a crucial part of the solution to the parking shortage at the station. While better cycle lanes and safer roads are also needed, more bike storage facilities are something which can offer an improvement to the commuter experience in the short term.

M7 Widening and Sallins Bypass Update

I am delighted to see three lanes open in both directions on the M7. This will be a huge help to commuters who face lengthy journeys and congestion on the M7 every day. The M7 widening project is vital to improving journey times and I am glad to see it move closer towards completion. This represents a €110 million investment in the area and the last phase of this is the Sallins Bypass, completion of which is expected by Quarter 1 of 2020 and I am delighted to see these infrastructural improvements become reality having campaigned for them for a number of years.

Progress on Greenway Welcomed

The plan to develop a 221km greenway all the way from Dublin city centre to Shannon harbour and right across County Kildare progressed today. The Chief Executive of Kildare County Council published his report following the submissions process, during which both Deputy Lawless and his colleague Cllr. Carmel Kelly had assisted a number of local groups and residents in participating in the consultation.

The publication of the report is great news for the entire county, but particularly for all of the towns and villages along the greenway route including Ardclough, Sallins, Naas, Prosperous, Robertstown and beyond. This will compliment the great success of the Royal Canal Greenway through Maynooth, Leixlip and Kilcock in the northern part of Kildare. The boost to tourism, recreation and the local economy that greenway’s such as these bring to an area is significant.

James and Cllr Carmel Kelly pictured at their information event on the public consultation

Commenting, Deputy Lawless thanked all of the stakeholders for bringing it to this stage and all those who made submissions. He congratulated the council on moving quickly through the planning process and taking on board feedback from local residents.

The changes made after the consultation phase are as follows:

  • Sallins village – following significant local feedback the route will now not go down Chapel Lane and across the main square. Instead it will more closely follow the path of the canal past Lock13 & Bridgewater. This will enhance pedestrian and cyclist safety while better integrating with local business and hospitality premises. A Village Centre Traffic Management Plan will also be developed to compliment the new routes.
  • The spike of the route from Sallins into Naas harbour is covered under a separate planning proposal which is at an advanced stage and will go on display in April. This will allow the Naas section to be integrated into the full route.
  • All signage will be bilingual and will also contain heritage information packs.
  • The route will be fully wheelchair and buggy accessible.
  • Marker distance posts will be positioned at 5k intervals along the route.
  • The proposed pedestrian bridge at Sallins will be a high level fixed bridge. The width of the canal will not be reduced at this location and the proposed bridge will have a width and clearance sufficient to permit passage of boats with larger wheel houses.
  • The proposed new swing bridge to the west of Landenstown may be replaced by a mechanically operated lifting bridge (similar to that at Levitstown on the Barrow Navigation) subject to consultation with Waterways Ireland and Canal user groups.
The planned route of the new greenway.

New rail carriages not due to be delivered until end of year

The allocation of funding to provide new rail carriages will do little to alleviate the overcrowding challenges faced by passengers in the short and medium term in Sallins, Hazelhatch and further along the Kildare line following reports that Irish Rail is expected to get approval from the National Transport Authority (NTA) for the purchase of €100 million worth of new rail carriages.

I welcome this long overdue investment in Irish rail services, which is now serving a record number of passengers each year. It is vital to invest in Ireland’s public transport, if we are to reduce the congestion and environmental pollution that is plaguing our country. Continue Reading →

126N Service Extension Secured until Christmas

1479308512_content_mainI 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 →