Public Consultation – Irish Rail

You may have seen the link and information on the SCA Facebook page or Newsflash – Irish Rail were engaged in a consultation process concerning their proposed changes up to last week.

We are working closely with Bob Laird in this regard, who is a member on Fingal County Council’s Strategic Policy Committee for Transport and who went through the proposals with a fine-toothed comb. Based on his thoughts and our own analysis, we felt that there were some changes that would not be so good for Skerries.

We shared these with the recipients of the daily SCA Newsflash, encouraging to make their own input to the consultation process on irishrail.ie – but we also drew up a submission and forwarded it to Irish Rail. It follows here:

trains consultation snippetSkerries Community Association
Website: www.skerriesca.com
Contact: info@skerriesca.com
7 December 2015

We wish to begin by stating that Skerries residents have been loyal users of the train service over the years, and that many of us rely very much on the trains for mobility.

In general the train service, when not overcrowd, is reliable and comfortable. Having said that, some improvements are necessary. The frequency in off-peak is not sufficient for the numbers travelling and there are a number of negative implications for users in the draft 2016 timetable, especially for those returning home in the afternoon/evening peak. We consider it crucial that overcrowding on off peak trains be reduced as many less able bodied people choose to travel off-peak in the hope of getting a seat.

We wish to say also that the time allowed for the consultation is not sufficient for train users to study a long PDF document and analyse the implications of what is being proposed.

Comments on draft Timetable.

We welcome the introduction of an express from Dundalk at 07.55 am, which serves Drogheda, and which will free up space for Skerries and other stations further south.

Below is a list of the omissions from, and proposed changes to, the draft timetable which we believe will adversely affect users of the service travelling to and from Skerries.

Issues which we feel have not been adequately addressed:

Weekdays inbound:

  • we need extra trains around 1000 to 1200 to reduce overcrowding;
  • the 1758 from Balbriggan should stop at Rush & Lusk, and Donabate

Weekdays outbound:

  • extra trains needed in off-peak to relieve overcrowding, especially on current 1444 and 2013 from Pearse
  • a train between the proposed 1523 and 1623 from Pearse will be needed. The proposed 60 minute gap is far too long
  • The later departures of 1713 and 1728 from Pearse to 1723 and 1743 won’t work. It means not enough capacity between 1700 and 1730, the 1723 will be overcrowded before it even leaves Pearse. Also a very long gap for Pearse/Tara St. to Donabate. Propose that 1712 from Connolly to Balbriggan starts at Pearse at 1705 and becomes an 8-coach. Also all trains should stop at Donabate
  • Last train should be kept at 2330 from Pearse, not 2323

Saturdays inbound:

  • train leaving Balbriggan at 0920 should be 0925, to be consistent hourly with all the other trains
  • need extra trains (above the basic hourly) mid-morning when more people travelling into city, rather than in afternoon as proposed

Saturday outbound:

  • need extra train at 1600. Gap from 1530 to 1630 is too long
  • need extra train at night to give hourly departures from 1830 to 2330
  • Why is 1658 from Pearse stopping at Clongriffin to let Enterprise past, adding 7 minutes to journey? Would it be better to run a few minutes later, leaving Connolly after the Enterprise?

Sunday inbound:

  • Three hour gap in evening is too long. Should be no gap bigger than two hours, with second last train at same time as weekdays

Sunday outbound:

  • Need extra trains to bring it to hourly at key afternoon times when people are coming home. Most critical is a 1815 from Pearse, also need a 1615

Sunday outbound:

  • Need extra trains to bring it to hourly at key afternoon times when people are coming home. Most critical is a 1815 from Pearse, also need a 1615

We trust you will consider our concerns and endeavour to accommodate our suggestions.

Yours sincerely,

Michael McKenna, Vice Chairperson, Skerries Community Association