Luas lines for some, walls for others
July 2nd 2011
Rail Users Ireland today welcomed the opening of the Citywest Luas line and the massive improvement in public transport it will bring to the area, but not all living and working next to this new Luas line will have access to its benefits. Rail Users Ireland today condemned fact that the Citywest Luas will open with poor access for residents. This comes eight months after the Luas to Cherrywood opened with similar problems, where proposals for park and ride facilities are still incomplete.
RUI spokesman Colm Moore said "Despite spending more than three years raising the issue of access from adjacent housing estates to the Luas stops at Cheeverstown and Citywest Campus the line will open with no access provided for Ard Mor and Brookview, despite the estates backing directly onto the line." The residents of other estates can bypass Ard Mor and Brookview.
Despite promises made in the Environmental Impact Statement and at the oral hearing held by An Bord Pleanála in February 2008 that access would be improved and regular correspondence since then, no improvement has occurred. Indeed the Railway Procurement Agency is now washing their it's hands of the matter and there is unlikely to be any progress on the matter until South Dublin County Council publish their local area plan for Fortunestown. This plan hasn't gone to statutory public consultation yet and therefore is many months away from being adopted by the council. Even then any improvements proposed will be dependent on the council or land owners finding agreement with residents, receiving planning permission and then funding and providing the accesses.
Mr. Moore continued "While we can understand residents concerns about opening up estates to commuter parking or anti-social behaviour from adjacent unused sites, this need not happen. It is perfectly possible to maximise access while minimising the risk of unwanted activity. There are a number of solutions available including providing footpaths across existing unused lands for non-residents and gated access to residents which could be operated by Luas Smart Cards."
Luas Saggart opens on Saturday 2 July 2011 with free travel on the day. The line stretches from the existing Belgard stop near Tallaght to Garter Lane in Saggart, with additional stops at Fettercairn, Cheeverstown (with Park and Ride), Citywest Campus, Fortunestown and Saggart. There are no changes to fares and these stops are all within the existing "Red 4" zone. While some services will operate directly to Connolly Station, the line will predominantly be served by a Saggart-Belgard shuttle to connect to Tallaght-The Point services.