Call for cashless payments at Clonsilla railway station

by Mark O'Brien

The possibility of cashless payments at the car park at Clonsilla railway station is to be raised with Fingal County Council this week.
Cllr Roderic O’Gorman is to bring a motion before this week’s Castleknock/Mulhuddart Area Committee meeting requesting that the council explore options other than paying by cash at the station.
Cllr O’Gorman told The Gazette: “If you use the Coolmine station or the Navan Road Parkway station you can dial ahead and pay by text and it saves the need to fiddle around with change.”
As the car park at Clonsilla comes under the jurisdiction of Fingal County Council rather than Irish rail, the text facility is not currently available there.
Cllr O’Gorman said that he believes the prepay option should be available to users of the Clonsilla station.
“It’s really about making the facility more usable for commuters in the area,” he said.
“We should be encouraging them to use it, not making it more difficult for them.”
In response to Cllr O’Gorman’s query the council said that it was not possible to pay in advance because the car park was a public road but that customers could avail of card and Payzone facilities on a daily basis.
Cllr O’Gorman added that commuters will also be concerned at the statement by the National Transport Authority (NTA) that at peak hours, the Maynooth rail line is working at full capacity and could not take the addition of any further services.
The information came following a Dail question asked by Eamon Ryan TD on Cllr O’Gorman’s behalf to the Minister for Transport on the issue.
“It will be a big concern to commuters in stations like Clonsilla, Coolmine and Castleknock that the NTA is stating that peak services cannot be increased further,” he said.
“Our trains have become increasingly packed in the mornings and the addition of new commuters through the significant housebuilding going on in Carpenterstown and at Hansfield is only going to add more pressure.”
The NTA’s response said that all available rolling stock is fully utilised at peak times and that it would not be possible to add any additional peak time services on the Maynooth or M3 Parkway lines.
They added that the current level of services is fully utilising existing track and signalling capacity on the routes and the implementation of additional signalling coupled with the removal of level crossings would be required for further services at peak times.
In response, Cllr O’Gorman added his voice to calls for prioritisation of the Maynooth DART project.
“While I welcome the commitment for increased off-peak services, a failure to carry more people at peak times is going to severely limit Dublin 15’s ability to develop further,” he said.
“A key project must be the upgrading of the Maynooth line to DART standard.
“While this is planned for in the Transport Strategy for the Dublin Area, that document stretches up to 2035, which is far too long away”.
“The Census 2016 figures reveals that three of the top-ten fastest growing areas in the entire country are in Dublin 15.
“We must provide real transport options for people who want to live and work here”

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