Green Party welcomes Phoenix Park Tunnel opening, calls for further stations

phoenix-park-tunnelThe Green Party has welcomed the opening of the Phoenix Park Rail Tunnel to scheduled passenger services for the first time in its 139 year history. However it has also called for further stations to be opened on the line in order to improve rail services in Dublin.
Green Party Transport spokesperson Ciarán Cuffe said today:
“Today is a good day for Irish Rail, and I watched with delight as the 0835 from Hazelhatch passed under the Conyngham Road and into the Phoenix Park Tunnel. However it is also a lost opportunity to give commuters in West and North Dublin the opportunity to commute by rail to and from their place of work.

“Irish Rail must now consider opening up stations in Ballyfermot, Inchicore, and Phibsborough to serve passenger demand. They should also consider opening up Platform Ten at Heuston and adding a new eastbound platform. Thousands of commuters will welcome this new service, but there are thousands more living and working beside the rail track who would take up the opportunity to leave the car at home if we opened up further stations along the route.
ENDS

Pages last updated, 21st November 2016

Green Party Welcome Luas U-turn on Broadstone Wall

bCuffe calls for more space for nature in City

The Green Party has welcomed the decision by the Luas Cross City team to remove the upper portion of the mass concrete wall which has been erected in front of the former Broadstone Railway Station. Speaking at a well-attended rally of more than one hundred people at Broadstone on 19th November 2016 local Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said:

“This is a victory for common sense and people power. I am pleased that Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Dublin City Council have now committed to railings rather than concrete for the upper part of the wall. I look forward to the removal of the upper wall and a landscaping plan for the Broadstone Plaza. Why is it that when other cities put in new infrastructure such as tram lines they prioritise nature rather than concrete in their plans? Look at the tram lines in Freiburg in Germany, Bilbao in Spain and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In all three places they put grass rather than concrete between the tram tracks. That is what we should do in Dublin. I am concerned that the Luas Cross-City Team is focusing too much on concrete, and not enough on Green Infrastructure. The Light Rail Order specified railings, and TII must now remove their expensive mistake.

“Maurice Craig, Author of Dublin 1660-1860 said that Broadstone Station is “the last building in Dublin to partake of the sublime…. It stands on rising ground, and the traveller who sees it for the first time , so unexpected in its massive amplitude, feels a little as he might if he were to stumble unawares upon the monstrous silences of Karnak or Luxor… In architectural terms it is hard to praise it too highly…” It deserves to be revealed in all its glory rather than hidden behind a mass concrete wall.

“Looking ahead, I hope that Luas Cross City will ensure that they provide quality green infrastructure in the form of trees and planting at stations such as Dominick Street and Phibsborough. They also need to provide improved facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. I will work hard to ensure that Dublin City Council works with the Luas team to progress this.

The Broadstone Wall fiasco and similar projects such as the Clontarf Flood Relief Scheme show that we need to design more with nature, rather than throwing concrete at the problem. Where in Dublin are the living green walls, and wildlife spaces that are popping up in other cities? It is time we made more space for nature in the city.

The CIE Group needs to reconsider the inappropriate use of city centre lands that they own. It is unacceptable in this day and age to use this amazing 10 hectare site in the inner city for the storage of buses and bus drivers’ cars. It is wrong that waterfront sites in Ringsend, Conyngham Road and Clontarf as well as well located lands at Summerhill and Donnybrook are simply used as bus storage. CIE needs to rethink their use of land and give space for mixed-use development with a focus on quality housing for people who have been squeezed out of Dublin on these sites.

“We also need to ensure that Dublin City Council provides vision and leadership in the design of projects like these. I am concerned that the posts of City Engineer and Dublin City Planning officer are currently vacant. I also believe that we need to create a post of Head of Urban Planning and Design in Dublin City Council so that mistakes like this don’t happen again.
ENDS

Page last updated 19th November 2016

Greens: Urgent action needed to avoid imminent M50 gridlock

m50-googleThe Green Party has called on the Minister for Transport Shane Ross TD to take urgent action to prevent further traffic chaos on Dublin’s M50 orbital motorway.

Ciarán Cuffe, Green Party Councillor and chair of Dublin City Council’s Transport Committee, accused Minister Ross of taking his eyes off the road on the issue.

He said: “The M50 is grinding to a halt. Traffic volumes have risen by 6% last year and are up by the same amount again this year. Decisive action is long overdue. Two years ago the M50 Demand Management Report was published by the four Dublin local authorities and the National Roads Authority which laid bare the gridlock the city is facing. Not enough has been done to date, and Minister Ross continues to drag his feet on its implementation. He must now act decisively.

“Measure to tackle this traffic chaos should include the following:
-provision of new orbital bus routes adjacent to and on the M50,
-lower bus fares to encourage people to leave their car at home
-variable speed limits on the M50 to reduce accidents that cause delays,
-an increase in commuter rail services from towns such as Naas into Dublin City,
-a tolling system that reflects distance travelled on the motorway,
-encouragement of car-pooling,
-Smarter Travel funding to improve cycling facilities for shorter journeys

“In opposition Minister Ross roared like a lion about traffic at every opportunity. These days he’s not even squeaking like a mouse.”

ENDS

First published 24th October 2016, page last updated 24th October 2016