Tuesday 23 April 2019

Several transport issues over the past three weeks

The 84 bus in Greystones.
The 84 bus in Greystones.

Mary Fogarty

Members of Greystones Municipal District plan to write to the NTA, Irish Rail, Dublin Bus and Go Ahead about numerous transport issues which have emerged in the district in the last month.

They also plan to invite all the county's TDs to a special meeting this month to help solve problems.

Cllr Derek Mitchell requested a suspension of standing orders to discuss transport issues, as a matter of urgency.

Cllr Mitchell said that there had been changes to the Dart timetable, 84 timetable, smaller 184 buses as they switch to GoAhead, and fewer Dart carriages, as well as an increase to the Dart journey time. 'We have all been inundated with complaints,' said Cllr Mitchell.

The Cathaoirleach Nicola Lawless had also raised the matter separately in a notice of motion, which tied in with Cllr Mitchell's request.

Cllr Mitchell had drafted a letter, and he invited members to include further submissions. He also suggested including an appendix of specific complaints.

'The NTA has the mandate to improve transport but it has been made worse,' said Cllr Mitchell. 'I am disturbed by their attitude. They don't seem to accept that they should do something about it or that there are problems,' he said.

He said that the Dart service, with a longer journey time and fewer carriages, has been made worse to give County Dublin and County Kildare better service.

'Someone must have known single deck buses wouldn't cope at school times,' said Cllr Mitchell. 'After a couple of days they produced some double deckers. I'm not sure if that has solved that problem.'

He said that the company had said that the introduction of double deckers was due to 'increased demand' according to GoAhead, when the 'demand' had in fact always been at its current level.

Cllr Tom Fortune said that he is hearing that Bus Connects, not related to the current issues, may not in fact happen after all.

He said that the changes to the 84 timetable had produced a 'real mess' for people in Kilcoole and Newcastle.

He acknowledged that Dublin Bus had made a change to one of the morning 84 buses, and that had been a help. 'They need to put the 7.20 a.m. back on,' he said.

Cllr Fortune said that he had had a meeting with Dublin Bus management. He said that they have plans to adjust the service over the coming weeks and that they had listened.

He said that buses coming into Kilcoole and Newcastle serving Colaiste Craobh Abhainn had been causing problems for students, with the new times not fitting in with their school day.

'I have been inundated with complaints, as we all have, for the past three weeks, on every aspect of transport in the district. People end up driving and that is impacting traffic,' said Cllr Jennifer Whitmore.

Cathaoirleach Nicola Lawless said that her views are the same as other members. She said that having four carriages on the Dart is ludicrous. She added that there have been numerous disruptions on the line in the past year, acknowledging that acts of nature can't be planned for. However, she said that Greystones passengers are paying a much higher fare than others and not receiving good service.

District administrator Myra Porter said that she will arrange a special meeting involving the five Wicklow TDs in the coming month.

Bray People