Recently wheelchair users have been protesting at DART stations to highlight the lack of accessibility and ongoing issues with broken lifts. Deputy Broughan has made many representations to Irish Rail over the years due to the consistent problems with the lifts at the Howth Junction/Donaghmede DART Station. Deputy Broughan, this week, received a response to his Parliamentary Question about the frequency of the lift breakdowns at this station and the cost of repairs.
Deputy Broughan recently asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, to seek assurances from the CEO of Iarnród Éireann that additional security personnel will be deployed at Howth Junction DART Station in the run up to Halloween. Deputy Broughan today received a letter from Mr Jim Meade, CEO, confirming that there will be security on site from 5pm – 12.30am and also at Kilbarrack Station from 2pm – 12.30am. Mr Meade also confirmed that “there will be further teams operating in Howth Junction & Donaghmede and adjacent stations.”
Over recent months, Deputy Broughan was contacted by many Clongriffin and Belmayne constituents who complained bitterly about the ongoing vandalism at Clongriffin DART Station. The Station was an integral part of the Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council North Fringe master-plans and the new residents of the area campaigned for nearly seven years to have this fine modern station provided for the new urban district.
Deputy Tommy Broughan has continuously received complaints from angry commuters who are unable to use the lifts at the Howth Junction/Donaghmede DART station because the lifts are out of use often due to vandalism. Over the years, Deputy Broughan has made many representations on behalf of dissatisfied constituents to the CEO of Irish Rail and there have been a number of initiatives by Irish Rail to try and improve the significant disruption caused (in particular to commuters with mobility issues and people travelling with small children) while the lifts are out of use.
It is highly ironic that it is Fianna Fáil which is tabling the Dublin transport motion before us. It was that party and its current Fine Gael partners in government which starved the Dublin region of transport and other key infrastructure over the past five decades. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, for example, the proposed light rail system included a northside Ballymun-Dublin Airport line but the Ahern Government scrapped the northside proposal and went ahead with the minimum red and green lines. Now, three decades later, we are still talking about metro north and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Donohoe, has again put it on the long finger until 2026 or whenever. I want to commend Fingal County Council chief executive, Paul Reid, and his staff on highlighting the issue and protecting the metro north economic corridor up to Swords and Lissenhall.
Deputy Tommy Broughan has today welcomed news from Irish Rail that the lifts at Howth Junction DART station are to be overhauled. Deputy Broughan has made many representations on behalf of dissatisfied constituents over the years regarding the unreliability of the lifts. The lifts are very often out of use which causes significant disruption in particular to commuters with mobility issues and people travelling with small children.
Deputy Broughan was in contact recently with David Franks, Chief Executive of Irish Rail regarding the overcrowding on the DART to Howth during the increasingly popular Dublin Bay Prawn Festival. Deputy Broughan also raised a Parliamentary Question requesting that the number of carriages on the 4.55pm Bray to Howth DART service be increased from 4 to 6 in order to address the peak time overcrowding. In responses received from David Franks this week, confirmation was given that additional fleet came into operation on the 11th of April 2016.
Deputy Tommy Broughan asked a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donoghue, regarding safety measures to be taken by Iarnród Éireann at Howth Junction / Donaghmede DART station over the Christmas period. Deputy Broughan asked this question on behalf of concerned residents who raised the issue with him recently.
Early this year I made a submission to the Public Consultation of the National Transport Authority (NTA) on their North Dublin Transport Study. I noted then that the study areas of Dublin Bay North and Dublin North West from Drumcondra to Dublin Airport and Swords had “a longstanding profound need for a fixed line public transport system”. I argued that “the preferred option of my Dublin Bay North constituents and myself has always been for the Metro North proposal.”