Inchicore locals won’t give up their trees without a fight

by Dublin Gazette
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The residents of a number of estates in Inchicore gathered last weekend in a show of solidarity against BusConnects proposals for the area.

Residents from Inchicore Road, Woodfield and the CIE Estate all gathered on Grattan Crescent in the area to tie red ribbons around several trees, some of which are more than 100 years old.

Under plans for BusConnects, the trees in question and more are under threat of being cut down to make way for a four-lane road to facilitate buses travelling from Lucan, Leixlip, Maynooth and more into the city centre.

Several trees line the road between the Inchicore National School, which was recently upgraded to include a design to complement the mature trees, which have become synonymous with the locality, working with an architect to achieve the wooden-façade.

The plans for BusConnects, as detailed on the official website, say: “On Grattan Crescent, it is proposed to widen the road to one bus lane and one general traffic lane in both directions.

“To accommodate this additional bus lane, it is anticipated that the existing footway will need to be narrowed and some of the existing trees to be removed. Some of the car parking spaces across the road from the entrance to Grattan Park will be retained.”

Locals have noted that the four-lane road that is proposed for the area would be out of character and have referenced that Con Colbert Road already hosts dedicated bus lanes similar to those described in the BusConnects plans.

Natasha, who lives in the area, told Dublin Gazette that there is “no room whatsoever” for what’s planned by BusConnects, and that several locals have filed submissions against the proposals.

She said: “What they’ve done at one point in the report is … they’ve totally forgotten about our estate.

“In their plans, we wouldn’t be able to go right or left when we come out, and then we wouldn’t be able to turn right into the estate.

“People on Sarsfield Road would just about be able to park their cars, but there wouldn’t be room for visitors.

“There’s also a playground in the park. If the road is widened, the playground would be right on the edge of the road – kids would be running out right into the bus corridor.

“You couldn’t make it up, but the main [area of frustration] is that they want to cut down these trees, which make such a lovely entryway into the estate.”

A residents’ group for the area, The Works, took to Facebook to condemn the plans.

They said: “[BusConnects are] cutting trees at a time when the UN has unequivocally said that trees are the greatest source of carbon clearing that exists, and that millions of trees must be planted in an effort to slow down climate change.

“Planning to remove mature trees in Inchicore village to run a four-lane bus route between the [National school] and the playground is crazy.”

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