Friday 24 May 2019

Big objections to bus plan pour in

Almost 2,000 objection letters are sent to NTA from Rush alone

John Manning

An indication of the massive opposition that has built up against the National Transport Authority's BusConnects proposals which will rob several towns and villages in Fingal of a direct service to the city centre is news that in Rush alone, almost 2,000 letters of objection were submitted to the NTA by the deadline for public consultation which arrived, last Friday.

Rush Community Council commended the effort of locals on the issue, saying: 'A huge thank you to the people of Rush for the 1,858 submission letters we received during our weekend collections and at the Community Centre, ensuring we keep our direct and express bus service to city centre. These have now been sent to the NTA Bus Connects' together with Rush Community Council's detailed submission.

The community council said: 'This was also a really great collaboration between Rush Community Council and concerned residents which came together to form a working group on the Bus Connects plans.'

Rush Community Council expressed several specific concerns over the BusConnects plans which would see the village lose a direct service to the city.

The community council said in its submission to the NTA: 'As a commuter town, a direct express bus service using M1 and tunnel providing travel times of around one hour is essential for Rush.

'Increased commuting time (2hours+) to city centre will impact quality of life for commuters, school-aged children, university students and elderly people who require a regular direct bus service.'

The community council made the point to the NTA that: 'Current bus and rail services are already beyond capacity. The new proposals will reduce services to woefully inadequate levels. Plus, if the plan was based on current population and not outdated Census 2011 data, it would point to Rush, Lusk, Skerries and Balbriggan needing more services, not less.'

The community council also told the NTA: 'Commuter Rail links are an unacceptable replacement for a direct bus service. Capacity issues notwithstanding, Rush/Lusk rail station is located between both towns and unreachable by foot for many in under 45 minutes. Our communities need bus and rail services. Access to key amenities will require bus changes. Present planning of these interchanges and the extra capacity required will be chaotic enough for most, but for the elderly, disabled people and families with prams, changing buses due to the removal of a direct 33 route into the city centre is absurd.'

The concerns of the community council were shared right across the towns and villages of north Fingal which will all suffer the same fate in losing direct services to the city if the plans are not changed. There has been some indication that the NTA has heard the concerns in Fingal but only time will tell if that is reflected in the final plan.


No bus for Rolestown is 'simply unacceptable'

In Cllr Darragh Butler's (FF) submission to the National Transport Authority Busconnects plans to redesign Dublin Bus routes, he has defended the rights of the people of Rolestown to their bus service.

Cllr Butler told the NTA: 'Rolestown would have no service under BusConnects and this is simply not acceptable. We need you to maintain the 41b, indeed an expansion should be considered, it is a very important route for Rolestown and Swords commuters and students. In short we need more '41b's and it is incredible in the extreme to even contemplate its removal.

He added: 'The Rolestown community relies on its bus services. The outlying areas of Dublin continue to need bus services. This plan would cut services from most of Fingal's commuter towns and see Rolestown's bus services eliminated.'

Cllr Butler outlined the lack of consideration given to places like Rolestown in the plan, saying: 'The BusConnects proposal demonstrates a lack of concern for local conditions and the 41b Route is not even mentioned on the BusConnects Maps.'

He insisted the route stays.

Fingal Independent