Palmerstown-Fonthill needs a new approach to... Public Transport
Updated: Jul 11, 2020
"The Palmerstown-Fonthill electoral area is at risk of falling victim to poor planning if authorities don't act now and increase the funding to local support services and implement a public transport strategy that serves the needs of the entire community." - O'Dwyer
The proposed Clonburris development will see an increase of 8000+ units of housing, 2000+ of which are due to be classed as much needed Social Housing units in order to tackle the growing housing list within SDCC and reduce the number of people from the county experiencing homelessness. We need housing in the county, we need to reduce the number of people from the county experiencing homelessness. However, we need to make sure that we are building community and not creating a pocket of socio-economic inequality in an area within the county that itself experienced (and still is experiencing) socio-economic inequality.
If we look at the public transport links for the North Clondalkin area, we find that there is only one bus route that connects the community with the city centre and one route that connects the area to Tallaght. These routes are depended on by so many in the community to get to work, hospital appointments and for leisure reasons however, they are prone to be interrupted and suspended due to anti-social behaviour. The suspension of services for an hour or in some cases for the rest of the evening has a serious impact on the area as it leaves the most vulnerable without transport and leaves workers stuck trying to get to work or trying to get home. We have a train station (Clondalkin-Fonthill) however, there are few services that stop at the station and even fewer that have space available for commuters. In Palmerstown buses often arrive to stops full and workers are faced with the choice of leaving home earlier in the morning in order to be able to get onto the bus never mind getting a seat.
My proposed solution - increase choice and decrease travel time
We need the introduction of two new bus routes in the area that will be able to address the needs of the community as it grows and prepares to welcome new residents in the years to come.
This route would begin in Liffey Valley travel up St. Loman’s Road, turn onto the Ballyowen Road in the direction of the Pennyhill, turn right onto Castle Road and proceed down the road until the Fonthill road and follow the same route as the 40. When the bus gets to the junction of the Coldcut and Kennelsfort Road instead of turning right onto the Ballyfermot road it will turn left and proceed up the Kennelsfort road until arriving at the N4 junction – from there the bus will travel into the city.
This route will act as a feeder bus operating between the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre and the Red Cow Luas stop, the Luas has never had a dedicated feeder bus to bring passengers directly to a stop. This route would serve the Coldcut Road, Cloverhill Road, Station Road, Ninth Lock Road, Clondalkin Village, Monastery road and terminate in the Luas car park at the stop.
The proposed routes will provide the residents of North Clondalkin, Fonthill and Palmerstown with greater choice when it comes to transport and because route 1 will by-pass Ballyfermot it will also reduce travel time into the city. With this increase of choice and reduction of time spent on the bus this might address the growing traffic congestion on the Kennelsfort Road, Coldcut Road, Station Road and Cloverhill Road. It will also give those working in the Park West business park an alternative means of transport as well.
Suspension of services - a possible solution
With regards to the suspension of services the NTA needs to come up with a better solution in order to avoid disrupting services which results in the vulnerable in our community being left without transport and workers being stuck. Anti-social behaviour can have a profound effect on an area and acts of intimidation carried out by a small number of people can affect the quality of service for an entire community. The NTA should liaise with the local Gardai to ensure that services are able to continue, workers are able to get home and those engaging in these anti-social acts are deterred due to the increased Garda presence.
The issue of bus shelters also needs to be addressed (in some cases the lack thereof) the lack of bus shelters in North Clondalkin has left bus passengers in the rain and wind when waiting for transport. I have liaised with the NTA to have North Clondalkin included in their 2021 bus shelter programme. However, I feel a further bus shelter is needed on the Kennelsfort Road outside of the Palmerstown Manor estate – I will be keen to hear from local residents about this.
As a North Clondalkin resident and a worker who is reliant on public transport I am keen to see improvements to local service provision and will continue to advocate with the NTA.