Rail Upgrade Postponed by FF and Greens

Friday, April 10, 2009

Among the many cut backs hidden in Minister Lenihan’s crisis budget are two key transport projects for Dublin 15 that have been postponed indefinitely. These include:

• Resignalling the Maynooth Line to increase capacity

• Replacement of the level crossings at Coolmine, Clonsilla and Ashtown.

• Metro West has also been shelved.

Postponing these projects will heap further misery on hard pressed commuters.
With the Dunboyne rail line due to come on track, there will be traffic chaos at level crossings without a new signalling system. The failure to progress electrification of the Maynooth line will be a huge disappointment to commuters who have been waiting for a DART style service for years. The shelving of Metro West is a huge disappointment to the development of jobs in West Dublin and it will leave all those who commute north and south every day with no alternative but to drive.

Other announcements included cuts in proposals for Integrated Ticketing and withdrawing the €5m million provision for park and ride schemes. Instead of taking the tough political decisions on CIE, the Fianna Fáil/Green government have gone for the soft easy political options. This approach signals why Irish transport infrastructure is doomed to languish behind our European neighbours for years to come.


VEC Signs Contracts For Phibblestown Schools

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A leading construction firm, PJ Hegarty and Sons has been awarded the contract to design and build the new Phibblestown schools campus in Castaheany. Contracts were signed at a very low key ceremony on April 6th attended by the Minister of Finance Brian Lennihan and Mayor of Fingal Michael O'Donovan. Local residents and members of the public were not invited.

Work is expected to begin by the summer but this will depend on the outcome of the planning application due for decision in May. Twenty Submissions have been made by or on behalf of residents whose houses will be overlooked by the three storey schools only 16m behind them.

The Phibblestown schools project is one of the first education projects to be procured using the Public Works Contracts for Building Works Designed by the Contractor.


Lynam Planning Decision – 5 Storey to get go ahead?

Friday, April 3, 2009

The planners have made a decision to seek additional information on both of the Lynam Planning applications on the Clonsilla Link Road (Ref: FW09A/0019 & FW09A/0021). Those of us who opposed the main development will be depressed by the Planning Authority’s opening comments on their decision “Having regard to the location of the subject site within a 5-10 minute walking distance of Clonsilla Train Station, and the ‘SC’ Suburban Centre zoning objective that pertains to the subject site, the proposed mixed-use development and increased density in the southern portion of the site are welcomed by the Planning Authority.
Notwithstanding this, the proposed development, which has considerable frontage onto the Clonsilla Road, fails to take due cognisance of the special village character of Clonsilla.” They then go on to discuss tree retention, railing heights, grass verges and landscaping. See the full decision here

The applicant has six months to furnish the additional information and when received the council will publish a notice of it in the weekly planning list so I’ll keep you posted. Objectors will then have two weeks to make further submissions. There were 35 submissions in total which is very high for this type of development. There was no objection from Fianna Fail or the Green Party but you can view the Fine Gael objection below.


Unemployment Doubles in Dublin 15

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The latest Live Register figures for Dublin 15 show that another 328 of people signed on the dole during the month of March. This brings to 7,635 the number of people signing on in the Blanchardstown Social Welfare Office. This time last year, that figure stood at 3,650 - an increase of 92%. Of those, 1,669 were under 25s this figure has risen by up 96% since March 2008

These local figures bring home the stark reality of the economic crisis this country is in.
We need strong and decisive action from the government to tackle the problem of unemployment in particular long-term unemployment. In the 1970s and 80s, Dublin 15 was blighted by long-term unemployment and the associated problems of crime, medical problems and family breakdown. We can not allow this to happen again.

Fine Gael has proposed a number of measures to get Ireland working again. These include:

- Waiving Employers PRSI for new employees taken on over the next two years;
- Set up a loan guarantee for viable small businesses in distress;
- Overhaul the 1bn FAS budget and provide new training grants for budding entrepreneurs to avail of education and training;
- Reduce the qualifying period for the Back to Enterprise allowance from two years to six months;
- Rewrite the National Development Plan to frontload labour-intensive projects.

Earlier this month, Fine Gael launched a national stimulus plan which would bring the National Pension Fund back home to invest in. This would create an extra 100,000 jobs in the economy through investment in green energy and a modern infrastructure.

I support these measures, and am working closely with Dublin West TD Leo Varadkar who has raised these issues in the Dil repeatedly over the past two years.
The latest decision by the rating agency S&P to downgrade Irelands credit rating is bad news for Ireland at a very bad time making borrowing more expensive and making it even harder for the economy to recover. Interestingly the S&P hinted they do not expect decisive action from the government this side of a general election, so the sooner that happens the better for all of us.

CSO Figures:
Local Office County Feb-09 Mar-09 Change % Change
Blanchardstown Dublin 7307 7635 328 4.5%

Local Office County Mar-08 Mar-09 Change % Change
Blanchardstown Dublin 3985 7635 3650 91.6%

Under 25s
Local Office County Mar-08 Feb-09 Mar-09 Monthly Change Yearly Change
Blanchardstown Dublin 851 1594 1669 75 4.7% 818 96.1%


Traffic Calming on Tyrrelstown Boulevard

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fine Gael’s Cllr. Eithne Loftus has successfully made representations on behalf of the Residents Association for traffic calming on the main distributor road through Tyrrelstown. A scheme (outlined in red above)to provide traffic calming measures in the form of 5 sets of speed cushions on this section of the road has been prepared for Bealing Boulevard from Church Road to its junction with the roundabout at Mount Eustace. The scheme will be on public display at the Blanchardstown Offices from Thursday 2nd April, 2009 and written submissions may be made to the County Council up to Wednesday 6th May, 2009.

The original planning for Tyrrelstown has as a condition (F99A/1620, condition 21, part 5) that the rest of Boulevard Road be traffic calmed and I have requested the councils building control section to enforce this prior to the road/estates being taken in charge.


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