Mary welcomes and supports the proposal to upgrade the existing Maynooth mainline railway service to an electrified DART+.
This proposal is welcomed by the communities in and around the line who hope it will provide a cleaner, greener and more efficient public transport service from Dublin City Centre to Maynooth.
Mary has asked Irish Rail to consider the following issues when developing the plans:
- The proposal promises more frequent trains. Provision must be made to increase each train’s capacity.
- Access to the stations and the impact of increased rail services on residential communities adjacent to the train stations must be considered and addressed. There are currently no parking restrictions on residential roads adjacent to Ashtown, Ashington/Pelletstown and Broombridge train stations. Irish Rail must work with Dublin City Council, residents and local businesses close to the stations to introduce mitigation measures to deter commuter parking blocking access to residents’ homes, businesses and community facilities.
- A new north inner-city DART Station should be included between Connolly Station and Drumcondra Station to serve the 2,000+ residents in the area, Europe’s 3rd largest stadium (Croke Park) and convention centre and the new strategic housing developments at Clonliffe Road.
- Consideration should be given to either automating the level crossing at Ashtown or ensuring continued pedestrian/cycle access and north/south permeability across the train tracks and canal at Ashtown. Pedestrian access over the railway at Ashtown to allow residents from Navan Road to get to SuperValu, shops, restaurants and access to the amenity of the Royal Canal must be maintained. Similarly, residents in Pelletstown require access to amenities on the Ashtown side i.e. Buses, Soccer & GAA training and matches. A footbridge like the one which will be built at the new Ashington/Pelletstown Station (currently under construction) is required to keep access for the two communities and to allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross close to the current railway gates. Expecting pedestrians to travel a 500-metre cutting/tunnel with a steep gradient does not make sense. A combination of gate electrification and Option 8 – A pedestrian/cycle overbridge – should be given priority consideration subject to consultation with and agreement from residents of Martin Savage Park.
- Public lighting and monitored CCTV is imperative at each DART stop but also at the approaches to each DART Stop. Irish rail should work with DCC to ensure that pedestrian access to Ashtown Train Station from Dunsink Observatory and Glendhu Park is upgraded to provide safe year-round access to the DART service.
- A comprehensive flood risk assessment for the adjoining residential estates in Ashtown is essential if a major infrastructure tunnel is to be constructed in the area.