Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Jim O’Callaghan
Dublin Bay South
08 December 2015
Level-crossing train barriers need modernising before DART times increase – O’Callaghan
Dublin Bay South candidate Cllr Jim O’Callaghan is calling for the modernisation of level-crossing barriers before any increase in the frequency of DART services. He pointed out that today (8 December) marks the deadline for the return of public feedback to Iarnród Éireann on proposed major changes to the frequency of DART services in Dublin.
“Iarnród Éireann recently announced that it intends to increase weekday DART frequency from every 15 minutes to every 10 minutes. There’s also a proposal to have a consistent schedule every 15 minutes on Saturday and 20 minutes on Sunday. While this major improvement in service is to be welcomed, it is important to note that the impact on traffic congestion for Dublin southside commuters particularly around the busy areas of Sydney Parade and Merrion Gates will be significant,” according to Jim O’Callaghan.
“Currently 160 trains pass through Sydney Parade each weekday (approx. 1 every 7 minutes) – this will increase to 225 (approx. 1 every 5 minutes). Recent observations indicate that the level-crossing train barriers come down roughly 2 minutes before a southbound train passes and up to 3 minutes before a northbound one. At several points the downtime can be up to 5 minutes when northbound and southbound trains cross within 2 minutes of each other. This amounts to approx 6 hours daily of barrier downtime between 6am and midnight. The proposed changes in frequency times would increase the barrier downtime to approx 7.5 hours per day effectively closing the road 40% of the time which will prove dangerous and frustrating for all road users but particularly for emergency vehicles,” added O’Callaghan.
“I have made a submission to Iarnród Éireann asking it to make sure through modernisation of infrastructure that this change to the DART service does not result in traffic gridlock. The solution to this imminent problem is to modernise level-crossing barrier gates providing a more updated and efficient co-ordination of arrival and departure of train times through each station,” concluded Cllr O’Callaghan.