It was two weeks on Monday last since residents of Mrytle The Coast Baldoyle last had access to Clongriffin Dart Station. Richmond Homes, the developers who erected the ‘tower’ are responsible for the maintenance of the lift and stairs, had indicated a timeline of two to three weeks for repair.
During the past two weeks plus, there also has been no access for any commuters travelling from Baldoyle to the station, and none for people with mobility and sight issues, those with young children in pushchairs, or travelling by bike from both Myrtle and Clongriffin.
In June, residents of Myrtle The Coast Residents Association, along with Cllr Joan Hopkins of the Social Democrats, launched a petition calling for safe, universal access to Clongriffin. To date, the petition has gathered almost 2,700 signatures.
On Monday, next, September 25 at 6.30pm, the communities from both Myrtle and Clongriffin are hosting a peaceful meet at the stairwell to highlight the issues and are inviting the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan and all local representatives to come and show their support.
Elaine Verdon, Chair of Myrtle The Coast RA stated locals are now really furious with this ongoing situation.
“At the best of times, the so-called escalator is not fit for purpose. It’s a structure with low level lighting, built from perforated steel with a four flight staircase, a lift within the structure. You just never know when it’s going to be working or not! For residents coming from Myrtle over to access the Dart or the 15 bus, It’s a joke. But it also serves people travelling form both directions to/from Clongriffin to get to schools and creche in the morning.
“The lift is unsavoury at the best of times and attracts anti-social behaviour, as you will hear from Cllr Joan Hopkins. So when the lift is not working, how does a person in a wheelchair with time constraints to make work get up four flights of stairs, and mothers with buggies, scooters, etc to get to school? It’s absolutely madness and such a busy commuter spot!”
Cllr Hopkins commented: “Our government has a legal and moral obligation to provide universal access under the EU for people with disabilities to our public transport. We have climate change targets that rely on people living near public transport to choose it over private cars. People in Baldoyle have been effectively cut off from accessing their local dart station. This is due to decades of underinvestment and weak planning laws by the current government. It’s not good enough and people here are no longer prepared to tolerate it!”
Built in 2010, the ineffective ‘access’ has been going on for 13 years now and the so-called maintenance by Richmond Homes is derisory. Both Cllr Hopkins and Ms Verdon claimed the structure has fallen into massive disrepair.
“When the lift is functioning, it is often filled with urine, faeces, drug paraphernalia, and vomit. Badly lit at night, the stairwell has become a hub for antisocial behaviour, resulting in residents feeling unsafe to travel through, particularly if female and alone,” they stated. “While the government encourage people to use public transport, yet regularly, this is not feasible for residents of Baldoyle and Clongriffin.”
“This situation is all too frequent, affecting a large proportion of local residents on both sides of the access point. This is the fourth time this month that the lift has been out of order. The lack of accessibility in this day and age is a disgrace. Enough is Enough! Please join our protest on Monday next and sign our petition at https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/clongriffin-dart-access”