The recently published Draft Transport Strategy for the Dublin Region proposes that the LUAS goes to Bray which is welcome. However South of Bray the Strategy seriously understates current and future transport demand in Wicklow. Currently the roads are full and the rail line empty. The solutions planned will not work according to Cllr Derek Mitchell, Chair of the Council’s Transport Committee, who previously spent 22 years campaigning to get the DART to Greystones.
‘I counted the number of people getting on busses and trains in Greystones and it is twice the current usage in the Strategy. Also the population expansion which Wicklow is obliged to accept is much higher than in the Strategy. Thus the National Transport Authority should be planning for public transport demand 3 or 4 times that in the Strategy’.
The current peak hour service of 3 trains from Greystones should be increased to 7 trains, including 2 Intercity trains from Arklow, Wicklow and Kilcoole. Cllr Mitchells submission to the NTA outlines the investment in track and signalling works needed to get the extra trains around the restricted rail section on Bray Head. There is also a need for more busses, especially express busses, including on the N11from Arklow and Wicklow Town. ‘The study ignores most current bus services so that its recommendations for an improved service are less than the current service! The NTA has also ignored Council officials who tried some time ago to get the future population and job targets in the report corrected. The complex model used by the NTA is producing wrong results’
Simon Harris, Minister of State and Andrew Doyle T.D. have also made submissions to get Public Transport improved.