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.
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.
I 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 →
I am delighted to unveil the coverage map of areas which will receive fibre speed broadband where previously there has been slow or inconsistent broadband coverage. Working with Imagine, we have brought the service to the north west of the county following meetings with residents and hearing their concerns around the lack of coverage in the area.
As a member of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources, and someone who is passionate about improving our broadband services I am delighted to be able to let residents know of the service rollout which is live and taking applications now. A huge issue when I met with residents in the area was the lack of coverage in places like Newtown, Johnstownbridge, Carbury, Broadford, and Timahoe. All these areas will now have access to fibre speed broadband. As people can see from the coverage map there is now comprehensive coverage across north west Kildare.
It has been said time and again how important broadband is for the local community in terms of education and business. It is a credit to Imagine for working with me and appreciating the concern and demand from residents in the area.
Today I hosted a constructive meeting with the Imagine Broadband executive team regarding rural broadband coverage for Kildare North in Leinster House today. In attendance were Ciaran Doyle and Brian O’Donoghue from Imagine Broadband and Cllr. Paul Ward.
Having previously worked with Imagine to bring fibre broadband to rural areas of Kill and Eadestown where previously services had been poor I was keen to stress the need for broadband in North West Kildare. Cllr Paul Ward explained the urgent need for improved broadband services in Newtown and Kilcock during this meeting.
It was agreed that Imagine’s technological team will begin to next assess these areas for further roll out. They will work with Deputy Lawless to target the areas in North West Kildare which need better coverage.
It is great to progress this issue further. It was vitally important to increase broadband services in North West Kildare and the first steps will now take place. Businesses, students, and families all need faster broadband as a basic need. The pilot in Eadestown and Kilteel has gone very well and Imagine have now agreed to roll the service out further to Clane, Straffan, and Ardclough. They will next begin to work on Newtown, Kilcock, and North West Kildare coverage at my request.