An online petition calling for Transport Minister Shane Ross to “restart the planning process” for a Luas line to Lucan has received strong support from residents.
Plans to extend the Luas were included as part of a €10.3 billion plan for the development of transport infrastructure across the greater Dublin area, published last year by the National Transport Authority.
But the plans were not included in the Government’s Mid Term Capital Plan (2016 – 2021), leading to fears that it could take up to 20 years before the Luas is in place in Lucan.
The Change.org petition reads: “We, the citizens of Lucan and of the surrounding neighbourhoods hereby call on the Irish Government to restart the planning process to put a Luas in place for Dublin (East-West).
“If the Luas isn’t put back in to the strategic plan and commenced soon, then the general area of Lucan will come to a complete halt due to what is already, a gridlock traffic situation.
“The council has also just announced/launched the proposed development of 8,000 housing units in the area of Clonburris which is said will add another 12,000 people to the area without the proper public transport infrastructure to cater for its current population.
“If Clonburris goes ahead, we fear Lucan will just come to a complete standstill in terms of traffic. Therefore, we need a Luas now more than ever to be put in place.”
Residents who signed the petition cited traffic congestion in the area as a major factor.
One signatory wrote: “Demand on all routes in this area have increased dramatically over the past 15 years.
“It’s about time we got a Luas line to reduce traffic gridlock, reduce accident rates, help commuters to commute safely and efficiently.”
Another added: “Lucan is getting ridiculous in terms of population and therefore traffic.
“The council are approving these houses and not putting in the proper roads or transportation system needed.”
A spokesperson for the NTA said that the project was still part of the infrastructure but was unlikely to be funded in the short term.
He added: “The development at Clonburris straddles the existing rail line, and the area is currently served by the Iarnrod Eireann station at Clondalkin/Fonthill.
“In addition, commissioning the station at Kishogue is something that can be done relatively quickly, as soon as development gets under way.
“Additional provision for public transport in the Lucan area is proposed in the NTA’s Bus Connects project.
“Under these plans, ‘next generation’ bus corridors, where buses are not competing with general traffic, are planned on three major roads in the area. These will dramatically increase public transport capacity in that part of Dublin.”