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Better passenger and community access needed for Dart+ West, says transport and disability groups

— No lifts at most new Dart stations on Maynooth line; gradient of ramps is at higher level for cycling.

Irish Rail has submitted an application for a railway order for the upgrade of the Maynooth line, but transport and accessibility groups have criticised the lack of lifts and the design of ramps at stations where level crossings will be closed.

The closing of level crossings has been a long-term goal for Irish Rail and it is required to enable electric Dart trains to operate on the route at high-frequencies. The closure of level crossings is separately planned on the existing Dart route to allow for higher frequencies too.

Some groups which object to the full project and/or object to directing motorists onto fewer overpasses are using ugliness of the planned walking and cycling overpasses as a key argument, but the design for passenger and community access is also an issue for groups who support the Dart+ project.

Feljin Jose, chairperson of the Dublin Commuter Coalition, said: “It’s completely unacceptable that Irish Rail would refuse to build lifts at stations as part of this €1bn project. The ramps are impractical for the elderly and people with reduced mobility and create a detour for all users.”

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Speaking to IrishCycle.com, he added: “Irish Rail received overwhelmingly negative feedback about the new Pelletstown station last year so it’s even more bizarre that they are pushing ahead with this inaccessible design.”

A disability group, Access for All also said that the design “will disable people and not enable them.”

Access for All said: “Lifts should be a given for not only our disabled community but for our elderly and others who cannot manage long long walking distances or flights of steps.”

The group said: “These are shots of the ramps being suggested as replacements for lift access at the proposed Porterstown and Clonsilla dart stations which is currently out to public consultation. They are immense structures that will disable people and not enable them.”

The full details of the railway order application can be found at dartplus.ie/en-ie/railwayorder/dartwest.

Ashtown

The drawings show an insufficient width for cycling with the cycling space marked out as 2.9 metres wide for two-way cycle right beside a high wall:

Especially along a hairpin bend and at gradients of 5%:

Ashtown will also have an underpass north of the station but this does not follow best practice by mixing walking and cycling on a shared path, by lowering walking and cycling to the same level as needed for buses and trucks, and having no solid segregation between the shared path and the roadway:

Coolmine

Gradients and widths the same as above:

Porterstown Road

Surface is just shared:

New walking and cycling overpass at Clonsilla Road

New road bridge at R121

With shared space leaving to/from the cycle paths:

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1 comment

  1. These designs are as ugly as they are impractical. This is an opportunity to define a coherent look for a selection of our country’s rail stations beside one of our most beautiful amenities that is the Royal Canal. It’s understandable that the industrial style may be cheaper to construct and maintain but surely we should be aiming higher than that. Some facade improvements to the Pelletstown station would go a long way as well.

    Reply

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