In a farewell to the 40 ft cranes that have been a part of the lives of all of us living in Cork Harbour for so long, here is a wonderfully knowledgeable recounting of the development of Verolme Dockyard ….
In a farewell to the 40 ft cranes that have been a part of the lives of all of us living in Cork Harbour for so long, here is a wonderfully knowledgeable recounting of the development of Verolme Dockyard ….
Martin Walsh, Bus Eireann Area Manager, came to the February meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District today. We councillors were asked to submit our questions well in advance by email. I gather that most of us were raising the same issue: reliability. Other more specific queries were also raised, although I have details only of my own. Today’s meeting was moving too fast for me to accurately note the all that the councillors said but I have done the best job I can of noting the responses from Martin Walsh as follows:
The councillors were then invited to each follow up questions they had posed that they felt hadn’t been answered. The second round was a little slower and I managed to get a grip on most of the questions …
Cllr Canty: The bus is full all the way up the western road. Buses will pass passengers on a wet Friday evening coming home. The problem is relief buses. We need them.
MW: Expects that to improve when we go to a 15 minute frequency. As long as the bus doesn’t get stuck in traffic.
Cllr McGrath asks about real time information. Concerns about indefinite answers being given about the 223. Reinforces Cllr D’Alton’s and Jeffers’ request for the Lehenaghbeg bus shelters.
MW: Real time – there are apps that will find your location automatically and tell you how soon the buses will arrive. You will get funny figures when you don’t get guaranteed trip times. There are dreadful bottlenecks on the route. Douglas village is one of the worst. The junction at Tesco is frightening. I don’t think we can take the relief road only. People want to be picked up in Douglas village. Douglas LUTS is there for a long time now. Even when that happens there will be difficult decisions to be made. Have to prioritise buses through Douglas. Hopes we will support them. If there isn’t public transport priority through the village … There are no bus lanes to Ringaskiddy in the N28 plan. What about plans for the Shannonpark roundabout? If we have 10 or 20 or 30 buses there and we don’t have bus lanes, it isn’t going to work. Bus shelters – copy me in on emails and I will send on your requests. The decision is with the NTA. Agrees that the 223 changes are vague. Confident there will be improvements but doesn’t now what they will be at this stage.
Cllr Jeffers: Asks again about Donnybrook – Ballygarvan – Grange
MW: Doesn’t know when the Ballygarvan review will be complete. Maybe ask the NTA. Will look at South Mall to Grange. If you do something like that, you’re taking a bus away from another route. Any extra trip we operate in peak is an extra bus.
Cllr Murphy: Took the 6.20 heading for Passage recently. At 6.50 I was still outside the Briar Rose. Home at 7.20. Wonders if it could be run on the Link. Private buses have no facilities for Leap cards. Got a private bus but had no change. Was in Dublin recently for the Ard Fheis. Is it that on Dublin Bus you have to have the right change but you can flash the Leap Card separately on the right rather than have a single queue? In the old days when you used to get the 223 from the city, the bus would never stop on the Douglas routes.
MW confirms that is correct about private buses not having Leap Card facilities. We intend to be covering those services ourselves in the near future. Dublin Bus had the Leap Card system on the right since the beginning. We have the card reader on top of the ticket machine. You can use the card 24 h, 7 d or monthly. You can use your e-purse as well if there is one reader. There is an interaction with the driver if you’re using your e-purse. The driver has to know how far you are going. It is also the case that in the past when the Carrigaline and Monkstown buses were coming through Dougls, they wouldn’t stop. People used to give out about it.
Cllr D’Alton asks about several questions that weren’t addressed. The first is was about rationalisation of drivers as a result of the Labour Court recommendation. You had mentioned it when we were speaking in October. Was this done? Many of the complaints about the 223 came in since December.
MW: Rationalisation of drivers was carried out at the beginning of December. There was a strike during last year and the resulting Labour Court recommendations were accepted by staff and company and trade unions. They included a range of changes and measures that would be put in place. It took a while to get agreement. We’re practically at the end of implementing those changes now. They have affected staff at every grade and every area. We’re recruiting drivers at the moment.
Cllr D’Alton: Want to reinforce what Cllr Jeffers said about Park and Rides. Forever mentioning the planned Park and Ride at Carrigaline for which a site is zoned. Had asked about the potential use of the Black Ash.
MW: The Park and Ride in the Black Ash is owned by Cork City Council. We operate and mange the facility on behalf of the City Council. We have been involved since 1997. Doesn’t think using the Black Ash will work. Generally people don’t like to have to change buses. We have the 220X from Crosshaven going in the N28 to the South Link Road. Park & Ride in Carrigaline will be a challenge. Are you going to take a Park & Ride to City Centre? A Park & Ride at Shannonpark roundabout for people working in Ringaskiddy might work. If you’re going to do it you want bus lanes going into Ringaskiddy and back out. You need bus lanes for serious modal shift.
Cllr D’Alton: I asked about the timing of bus connections: 223-220-220X?
MW: For good connectivity you need guaranteed trip times. If buses are late they won’t make connections. Connections will become easier when the frequency of the 220 is increased. It will be sorted from Passage West anyway when the direct service to Carrigaline is delivered.
Cllr D’Alton: I had asked about the % change in missed trips.
MW: Missed trips are no shows. I don’t have the exact figures but we don’t miss that many trips. We missed more than normal this year because of traffic but that’s inevitable with 2.5k bus movements each day and almost all of those via Patrick street. The missed trips percentage is in low single figures most of the time.
Cllr D’Alton: Echoes Cllr McGrath’s concerns about the indefiniteness of the reponses wrt the 223. We can’t bring back this indefiniteness. So important that Passage West is connected to the new Primary Care Centre in Carrigaline. The public health centre in Passage West has been closed and referrals are now all to Carrigaline. When do you think the direct service will be in place?
MW: Is aware of the health centre closure. Changes to the 223 will be in place, best guess, by September.
Cllr D’Alton: That’s not good enough that there would be no direct connection with the Primary Care Centre for almost a year. Got a written response from the NTA which said that it would be in place in spring. What can we do to emphasise to the NTA that this is really urgent?
MW: When does spring start??? February or March??? Will bring back the message to the NTA about the urgency.
Cllr O Donnabhain: There can be a problem with stacking of buses in the morning. Although they leave separately, they arrive together in bunces. Can they be staggered more?
MW says that can happen when buses hit traffic. He will keep an eye on it.
Cllr Collins: On the Ballygarvan connectivity – the road adjacent to where the new schools are being built at Ballinrea connects to Ballygarvan. It will be upgraded, although we’re not sure when. It is worth considering using this route. On bus shelters – thinks the main street of Carrigaline isn’t suitable for bus shelters, thinks it is worth considering putting buses on bypass only. Would help traffic to go through Main Street and you could build superb bus shelters on the bypass. Agrees a bus shelter on the bridge could be the victim of anti-social behaviour. The one on the other side was.
MW says people mostly like to wait at bus stops where there is footfall. Taking buses through Carrigaline on the relief road only wouldn’t reflect the policy of convenience that they’re trying to pursue.
Cllr Desmond (Chairperson) thanked MW for coming and said that she was drawing the session to a close. He has been with us for an hour and a half.
As probably every Passage West resident knows, the long-derelict convent and convent school is up for development by Clyda Eco Homes. The planning application is with the County Council since 13th December 2017.
In the last couple of days, a further information request has been issued to the developer. The additional information required is outlined in the following letter issued by the County Council:
The developer has 6 months within which to provide this further information. Before he submits a response, he has been asked to meet with Cork County Council to discuss what is required.
Funding of €160,000 to over 135 arts organisations and individual artists has been announced under Cork County Council’s annual Arts Grant Scheme. This year’s allocations will support the work of many of the county’s voluntary arts groups including Pipe and Brass Bands, Choirs, Traditional Music and Creative Writing groups.
Allocations to 34 arts festivals will account for the largest share of funding provided by the Council in 2018 at nearly 43% of the overall grant allocation. The economic impact of Arts Festivals supported by Cork County Council in 2017 was worth €3.23M to the local economy.
A list of the organisations and projects funded is at the following link:
Arts Grant Scheme 2018- Category Reports and Recommendations
“That this government would initiate a comprehensive review of national environmental noise legislation, including Regulation SI 140/2006 (Environmental Noise Regulations) and the Roads Act 1993, with a view to:
My introduction to the motion:
Environmental noise is noise that comes from all sources except that from the industrial workplace. So it includes road, rail and air traffic, industrial sites, construction and some other outdoor activities.
Noise is a really complicated issue. It is complicated because it is always there. It is complicated too much noise is pollution but the level of noise and the type of noise that is tolerable is a subjective thing. To make it even more complicated, it is measured in many different ways and always on a logarithmic scale.
Noise is very much the Cinderella of pollution. We talk about air pollution, pollution by litter, water pollution and much more. But how often do we talk about noise pollution? Yet it is one of the most frequent sources of environmental complaint. What we do know about noise is that according to the WHO, it is the second largest environmental cause of health problems. There is a confirmed causal relationship between chronic environmental noise and a wide variety of adverse health effects including sleep disturbance, annoyance, cardiovascular disease, endocrine effects, increase incidence of diabetes, performance and learning, mental health and stress.
Noise pollution in Ireland is managed under ten different pieces of legislation, all which do slightly different things. But despite this, we have no legal ambient noise limits. The WHO is absolutely clear that to protect the public, an average night-time exposure to noise should not exceed 40 dB(A). To avoid excessive annoyance to the public, it recommends day time noise levels should be no higher than 55 dB(A). Yet many Irish people are consistently exposed to noise levels much higher than this. In the absence of legal limits, TII produced a set of guidelines with a noise limit value target in the design of new national roads in Ireland of 60 dB Lden. But this is not a mandatory requirement, it applies to national roads only and missing the target is excused if it is not “sustainable”. In this context, sustainable often means if it is too difficult or too expensive.
Our Environmental Noise Regulations require relevant authorities to produce Noise Maps and Noise Action Plans every five years. The purpose of these is to identify and reduce exposure of the population to noise. The EPA has produced guidelines recommending intervention when ambient noise is higher than 70 dB(A) – much higher than the World Health Organisation recommendation. Moreover, in Ireland, noise mapping authorities are often different from noise action authorities. So on a national road, TII will produce the noise map, it will show where any public living alongside is dangerously exposed to noise and then the local authority is obliged to identify how to deal with that and fund it.
All that legislation governing noise doesn’t capture wind farms from which the low frequency noise can drive people from their homes. It doesn’t govern noise from ports although shipping-related activities can keep nearby communities awake for long periods of the night. And critically, because we have no noise limits, we are not merely excusing noise levels above those known to cause health problems, we are designing for noise levels above those known to cause health problems.
Europe has recommended that we designate “quiet areas”. These are special places, often in urban areas, which are precious to people and provide time out in a busy world. The aim of designating them is to protect them from excessive levels of noise. The only place in Ireland where quiet areas have been designated are in Dublin. The current Noise Action Plan for Cork commits to identifying quiet areas during the lifetime of the plan but the plan expires this year and those quiet areas haven’t been identified yet. Research has been done to identify how best to identify areas that should be designated as quiet but that research hasn’t been incorporated into national legislation.
Last year it was estimated that 250,000 people throughout Ireland were living with a level of environmental noise that was causing them annoyance. 100,000 people were living with a level of environmental noise that was causing them sleep disturbance. For the vast majority of these people, that noise was caused by road traffic.
Studies done by the European Commission have shown that measures to directly address noise pollution have a high initial cost and it takes a long time to recover the financial investment. But if a monetary value is put on the resulting societal benefit, those studies have also shown that that investment is highly efficient.
The legislative deficiencies I have spoken of here are merely the tip of the iceberg. We urgently need to address our environmental noise legislation so that it works, so that it provides comfort to those suffering from noise pollution and genuine protection to the health of Irish citizens.
The executive’s report responding to the motion:
Response to D’Alton’s motion on environmental noise
Discussion in Chamber:
Motion is seconded by Cllr Desmond (FF). The M28 was a real eye opener in respect of noise. There is no humane approach to this at all. People who can no longer use their back gardens. Who can no longer open their windows for fresh air. Goalposts are changeable and so people had no cause to redress or satisfaction. One woman at an M28 public display – nothing to do with the proposals – broke down in hysterics from the frustration for 10 years and longer in dealing with noise. Commends the motion.
Cllr Barry (FG): Supports. Being on the Environment SPC the issue of noise pollution has come up with regularity. Ambient noise has a huge effect on people’s lives. Traffic is one of the single biggest causes of it. N25 outside Carrigtwohill and Glanmire – trees have been taken away and no decent barrier has been put in place. People cannot stand outside their door and speak to others. It is accepted that noise is excessive. You do your sound levels and resolving it goes from TII to the Council. The funding isn’t there. People shouldn’t live with that interference in their lives.
Cllr K Murphy (FG): We have to accept that noise levels are serious at the moment and probably getting worse. Motion is excellent. Developments close to regional roads can be seriously noisy. Has an issue with the condition of some of the roads. Noise difference between smooth tarmac surface and chip surface is enormous. Knows that machinery before now was noisier. No such thing as joined up thinking between our planning and the impact that noise could have on a development. Need to create an environment that improves the situation: growing massive trees isn’t the answer. Stayed in a house where the noise level from a national route next door was intolerable. Couldn’t sleep. Double glazing, well back from the road and the noise was still awful. In our planning for the future we have to adopt some other mechanism of ensuring that noise is detrimental to health. It has been detrimental in the past. There is an opportunity in the National Planning Framework.
Cllr Murphy (SF): Supports. As regards industrial noise, lived across from Marino Point for years so agrees with that.
Cllr Forde: Worthy motion and well overdue. Would like to ask each and every one of the people in this room how would you like to live next to a motorway which has a continuous loud noise which drives you crazy? How about living next to a house which has two rottweilers barking way into the night? How about cutting all the trees which makes noise pollution worse? The Eouglas LUTS has identified that noise from traffic in the Douglas village area has exceeded guidelines and limits. Would like to see a specific responsibility in Council for addressing noise. Noise on Douglas with thousands of cars has to have an effect on people. When we give out plannings, we are not strict enough on the effects of noise on houses. Planning issue in Togher where residents couldn’t speak with the noise of refrigerated trucks. It was protracted but the Council took it on. Also had a church where the congretation was singing and neighbours complained. The Council tasked the church to put in new sound barriers and they were then kicked out by their landlord. Need cohesive joined up thinking.
Cllr McCarthy (SF): Well-ordered motion. Resonates with all of us from local issues to much bigger industrial issues. Introducing limit values would be very worthy. Lives in an estate not far from a co-op and during harvest time it is very difficult to sleep. We don’t complain because we know it is only for a defined period but at the same time it is not fair on neighbours who have young children. Where we’re looking at building roads and we’re talking about bypasses for towns, etc. residents living in housing estates that are close to bypasses are concerned.
Deputy CE: Our response says we’re in favour of a revision of the noise legislation. In the event that local authorities get more workload it needs to be matched with resources. This is a very specialised area. We have had very limited resources in this area. We do apply noise limits to all industrial type planning permissions which we grant.
Cllr D’Alton to sum up: Thank contributors sincerely for supporting because this is a genuinely complicated issue. It took 2 hours just to draft the wording of the motion in such a way as was understandable and captured all the recommendations of the relevant experts in the field. Has taken me years to even 50% understand this issue. Thanks the Environment Department for an excellent report which shows that they have a real handle on the issue and understand that a review of the legislation is long overdue. Understands that noise limits are attached to industrial-type planning applications. Industries that are licensed by the EPA are also limited in the noise they can emit but this is not environmental noise in the context of the motion. Agree that additional resources should come to local authorities if responsibilities are assigned to them under revised legislation. One of the reasons the legislation we have isn’t being implemented is because it already assigns responsibilities to local authorities which they have no resources to carry out. Very relieved that we will write to the Minister requesting this long overdue review of environmental noise legislation.
Cork County Council intends to commence the Part 8 Planning process for the junction upgrade and signalization of the South Douglas Road / N40 Douglas West off ramp / Willow Park estate road junction.
The Douglas Land Use and Transportation Study (DLUTS) recommended measures across the Douglas area to improve travel conditions for vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.
One of the measures proposed is the installation of a signalized junction to replace the existing roundabout at the South Douglas Road/N40 off ramp West Douglas.
The works will involve:
Benefits of the proposed scheme
Submissions and observations with respect to the proposed development, dealing with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area in which the development will be situated, may be made in writing to Senior Engineer, Cork County Council, Traffic and Transportation, Floor 10, County Hall, Cork, on or before Friday 6th April 2018.
A Section 85 agreement has been drawn up and agreed with Cork City Council.
Associated documentation including site notice, location map and preliminary design drawing are at the links below:
Rowan View Developments applied for planning permission to Cork County Council for the development of 24 No. apartments, access, car parking, bicycle storage, refuse storage, amenity areas and landscaping on the green in front of Doodlebugs in Pembroke Wood, Passage West. The planning application ref. is 17/05739.
The County Council requested that Rowan View Developments would provide further information. That was lodged with the County Council on 2nd February. The Council have assessed it and have deemed it significant. That means the further information will be thrown open for commentary to those who have already made submissions. Those comments/additional submissions have to be received by the Planning Office by or on 15th February.
The further information documents are available to view in the Planning Department, County Hall. They are not available on-line yet and until they are, you can access some of the key ones below. Let me know if you would like any particular ones emailed to you in higher resolution.
Further information response letter: