A campaign to provide ‘fit for purpose’ access and lift services at Clongriffin Train Station has accelerated in recent weeks as furious locals highlight the inadequate and unsafe conditions of the current ‘provision’. Myrtle The Coast Residents Association along with Social Democrats Cllr Joan Hopkins have been pushing the atrocious condition and inadequate access of what was only ever designed to be an interim solution.
Cllr Joan Hopkins (SD) claims it’s a horrendous structure built on a piece of wasteland with poor lighting – while encouraging anti-social behavior.
“The government claim they want to get us out of our cars and onto public transport. At least €20m was spent on the train station in Clongriffin. And yet 12 years on, we can’t access it from the Baldoyle side – this is ludicrous!” said Cllr Hopkins.
“This is a total failure of government, all the talk about climate change and biodiversity and 12 years down the road, they can’t solve an issue whereby they could vastly increase the usage of public transport for Baldoyle residents.”
Cllr Hopkins described the current ‘access’ to the station as being a stairway built behind a fence, a five storey structure standing in a field! “It’s isolated and lighting is very poor by night. I’d never use it after 4pm in winter despite living close to the station as I just wouldn’t feel safe!”
Sign the petition please – no access for students and teachers of new Educate Together School
As such, a petition was launched last month on MyUplift.ie calling on local residents to sign and pressurise the government to address the situation. Meeting with key stakeholders have been held.
With the new Educate Together school to open this week, parents and local elected representatives and residents met in recent weeks; Fingal Active Travel was represented and joined by Fingal Traffic Engineer Ben O’Regan, along with the local Sergeant from Howth Garda Station and the new ET school principal.
“We were trying to ensure that when the school opens, children will have safe passage to the school via active travel, “ noted Cllr Hopkins. “There will be two autism classes and one special needs in addition to main stream classes. At least 240 students and 30 staff members.”
Sadly, claims Cllr Hopkins (above) the dart station has no access from the Baldoyle side where the new school is located.
“The escalators inside are often out of work but are totally not fit for purpose, unhygienic and regularly out of order. The alternative is to take five flights of stairs to exit or access Dart services!”
She noted the schools catchment area includes Belmayme and Cllongriffin. “Parents who need to get to the school via the train station but it’s not suitable for a buggy or bike as you’d have to frequently use the stairs.”
Richmond Homes actually own the land and the lift but Cllr Hopkins claim the lift was intended to be a temporary solution only, for three years when they they achieved planning permission for development in the area.
“Richmond have permission to build 3,000 apartments and are clearing the land. We want to submit the petition in early September as soon as the Dáil resumes. So please, if you haven’t already signed the petition, please do so immediately at https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/clongriffin-dart-access.”
A spokesperson for Irish Rail responded that, as Iarnród Éireann do not own the lifts and stairs that lead to the Coast Development, it is not responsible its upkeep and maintenance.
“Richmond Homes, the owners and maintainers of the lift and stairs have approached Iarnród Éireann to assess the possibility of us taking over ownership and maintenance of the lift and stairs. A constructive meeting took place between ourselves and Richmond in late July – the current condition of the lift and stairs are being assessed and another meeting is planned for later this month.”
IE noted this assessment is crucial, as it has concerns regarding the prospect of taking on the management of said lift and stairs, especially the condition of the lift.
“We have no insight into how it has (or hasn’t) been maintained in terms of reliability and functionality, and the potential cost to bring the lift up to our standards and ongoing maintenance, and this would not be included in any current budget.”
The spokesperson acknowledged the lift and stairs was only ever envisaged as an interim access solution with plans to extend the station bridge, to allow for a wheelchair access ramp.
Richmond Homes stated: “Richmond Homes acquired the site in 2019, it has been working through the planning and design process, to include the wider site, parklands and infrastructure, including access to the train station. We are proactively engaging with all stakeholders including local resident groups, politicians and state bodies in order to achieve the optimum outcome as soon as reasonably possible in all the circumstances, as many aspects of a development of this size are outside its control and dependent on third party input, consents and commitments.”
The petition calls on Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail), Minister for Transport, CIE, Fingal County Council, Richmond Homes, the NTA and TFI to address the inadequacies of the current ‘access’.
You can sign the petition at either https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/clongriffin-dart-access and https://on.soundcloud.com/n9cxf.
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