First part of the meeting with Martin Walsh, Area Manager Bus Eireann:
MW comments on questions sent in advance by the Members:
- Bus shelter at bridge in Carrigaline – would love to see it and has been requested. Structure of bridge won’t allow it to be put in place. There are concerns that it might undermine structure of the bridge because a base has to be put in. There appears to be no other suitable area in Carrigaline Main Street. A new company has the contract for looking after bus shelters: JC Deceaux. We will mention it to them and see have they any suggestions.
- Bus from Passage West – Carrigaline even twice/day – we haven’t had demand for the connection. Know it has been discussed here before. We have brought in changes in the area. There are up to 1200 extra trips per week in the Cork area and this year we had 77000 passenger trips extra over the previous year. We try to provide where we get best bang for our buck. A Passage West – Carrigaline bus route hasn’t been at the top of our agenda.
- Carrigaline – Ringaskiddy – yes there are people working in Ringaskiddy who are from Carrigaline. There is a service from the city to Ringaskiddy.
- Carrigmahon bus service – there is no turning point for the bus in Carrigmahon . We met the local engineer to see what possible options were available. We had the same issue at Rochestown College so we tied the two together. We will look at putting in a midday service around lunchtime and this would give people at third option. This would solve the issue.
- 223 through Douglas – official route is through Douglas village. There was some work on the dry bridge which may have created issues for people. A relief bus may take the road through Douglas Court. Bus drivers should be going the official route. We have automatic vehicle location fitted to the buses and the movement of buses is monitored so they will intervene where necessary if buses are running late. Buses going off route should be spotted from that.
- Shortage of buses on 223 between 1 and 6.30 – Every bus we have is out on the road. We have recruited about 80 drivers in the last two years. We took in extra buses. We are getting 9 new coaches to improve the age profile of the coach fleet. We’ll get new double deck buses later in the year. It is a positive reflection from the NTA that they’re happy to put buses to Cork. But is always sure there is more we can do.
- 10 from Monkstown was taken away. Was an auxiliary to the 7.25. Was unlicensed and was withdrawn. Getting to the city on time is the issue with the 7.25. It is better at this time of year because colleges are off and traffic is lighter.
- When routes are being changed, why are drivers not consulted – We get feedback from trade unions, staff, customers, councillors. We attend meetings of CASP, Age Friendly Alliance, Cork City Partnership, CORE, City Centre Movement Strategy, etc. We do feed into these things and get feedback from them. We have an open door policy – any driver can come in and talk to me at any time. Most have my phone number and email. We have ticket and passenger data.
Cllr Forde: Delighted with the 9 new vehicles. Good that Martin is coming to the Municipal District meeting too. Personally would like an email if there are other issues to bring up with him. The bus stop in Rochestown by the Rochestown Inn is only a little gap at the side of the road, there is nowhere safe to stand and it is a very dangerous section of road. There are developments to happen there over the coming 12 months so asks that Mr Walsh would keep in touch with the area engineer, etc. to make it safer for people. Also a query through Facebook that he was asked to put the bus that goes to CUH back to the bus station. So sick people have to make their way from Parnell Place to Patrick Street.
MW: Rochestown – will discuss. Would like to see improvements. The route 214 to the CUH does go where it should.
Cllr McGrath: Mr Walsh is here arising from the query about the Carrigaline – Passage West route.
MW: This is not a route that there is huge demand for. Will discuss it with the NTA. Direct contact is a measure of demand.
Cllr McGrath: We do hear this so we will put our request directly to Bus Eireann. The Waterpark bus route has been on the agenda for a while. MW said before that it would be done. Would appreciate it. There is a need for this route.
MW: Can’t guarantee that there will be a restoration of route but will certainly ask the NTA.
Cllr McGrath: Ballygarvan – this issue has been around for a long time too. There is no service in Ballygarvan and there is a longstanding village there with a reasonable population. Also the bus shelter in Carrigaline northbound – people are very exposed at this location and there is no shelter from buildings. Is probably the busiest stop northbound. We have to try and look at providing a shelter, even if it is an overhang. Could we put a shelter on the road and lose a parking space?
MW: Will look at it again and have asked for it before numerous times.
Cllr D’Alton: Concurs with Cllr Forde on the Rochestown bus stop. This was an issue brought up at a recent meeting with residents.
Have brought up the Passage West – Carrigaline bus route on our last two meetings with MW. If service was provided just twice or three times each day would make a big difference. Two new secondary schools in Carrigaline which would increase options for Passage West/Monkstown kids if there was a bus.
Had asked that the Carrigmahon bus route would be addressed. Grateful for morning and afternoon buses but the morning bus is too early for older residents. Lunchtime bus would be a great addition.
Have asked about the Carrigaline – Ringaskiddy route before and know the response has been that there wasn’t sufficient demand. Can’t understand why Cork County Council has never looked at purchasing a field at the Shannonpark roundabout and establishing a park and ride with small feeder buses running up and down from Shannonpark to the industries in Ringaskiddy all day long. If they did this all day long, the bus might provide a genuine alternative to the car. There would be so much road freed up that there mightn’t even be a need for the road upgrade.
MW: There is an upgrade of Shannonpark proposed and believes this includes an element of transport interchange.
Carrigaline – Ringaskiddy – have considered but have not seen how they could justify a bus all day.
Cllr D’Alton: Yes, there is an upgrade of Shannonpark but no, there is no interchange proposal. The interchange was to have been provided as part of the new residential development at Shannonpark. This has been downgraded to something very much less than initially envisaged.
Cllr Murphy: Support request for Passage West – Carrigaline service. Many living in Passage West have to take two bus services to get to social welfare office. Asks about wheelchair accessibility of all buses. Asks why Rockenham doesn’t feature on bus timetables.
MW: The city and suburban services are 100% wheelchair accessible. We would have had coaches on the Passage route up to a year ago. These would not have all been wheelchair accessible. The buses on the route now should be fully accessible.
As the bus comes from Haulbowline, they list most of the stops bar Rockenham.
Cllr Jeffers: 206 to Grange and Douglas and Turners Cross. Packed sometimes, people can’t even get on it. Could you encourage people to take a direct bus from Anglesea Street – Frankfield – Grange and go the opposite way. Traffic would be less and people could still get off at their own stops although the other way around but it would avoid traffic in Turner’s Cross and Douglas.
MW: Using the South Link Road is tempting but if you do, you’re not serving the Back Douglas Road, etc. We considered running buses along both directions along Grange/Frankfield but we fear people might run across the road when they see the bus coming and we thought it might be dangerous. If we send something out the South Link road, there’d be a half hour gap on the other side. If we want to do an extra peak hour trip, that’s an extra bus in the day. Easier to put on an extra bus off-peak.
We suffer considerable traffic congestion in Douglas Village, Mahon Point, Washington Street. Any consideration councillors can give as regards bus priority would be much appreciated. We allow 45 minutes from Carrigaline to the City Centre at the moment but it is not enough. Please support Douglas LUTS and the city centre movement strategy.
Can take excessive amounts of time to get through Douglas. That’s why we brought in the 220X to go straight from Carrigaline to town and avoid Douglas. But there is still a strong desire for Douglas village and the main Douglas road.
Cllr Canty: The bus service has improved on the Ballincollig route. We have the Killumney bus, the Macroom bus and the Ballincollig bus. People are beginning to use them. A bus going to the CUH was there originally. Twice/day through Melbourne Estate. Will that come back? We did put double deckers on and the Ballincollig bus picks up the students now. Compliments the buses for what they have done and for what they are planning. There is a problem with landowners and overhanging trees. A lot of damage is being done. We have brought in policies here in relation to landowners looking at their own properties. Thanks MW for what Bus Eireann has done in relation to increased services and thanks him for coming in.
MW: Ballincollig to CUH is on our minds as something we’d like to supply. The 220X is a direct Ballincollig route to the city centre. We could divert some of the others to the CUH.
We get great assistance from the Council engineers in addressing the hedgerow issue. Will be looking at bus shelters and stops at Lehenaghmore.
- Consideration of Reports and Recommendations
(a) Cork County Council Road Traffic Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws Proposals for changes to Speed Limit bye-Laws under 2017 Review further to Public Consultation.
Cllr McGrath: Thinks speed limit on the whole of the road from Monastery Cross to the Civic Amenity site should be 60 km/h.
AE: No. It is too late for that and would not be in favour of it anyway. Default speed limit for rural roads is 80 km but it will be 60 km/h at both ends. It wouldn’t be obeyed and the gardai would not be in favour either.
Cllr McGrath: Ferney Road, Ballinrea Road, Cogan’s Road all welcome additions. All quite urban areas at this stage.
Recommendation needs to go forward from here to full Council to accept speed limit changes.
There were no submissions to the National Road speed limit changes in our Municipal District.
MDO: Inchigaggin lane to Ballincollig will go from 100 to 80 km/h.
There will be a 60 kph limit for 200 m north of the airport roundabout
N28 – increase speed limit at Bloomfield Interchange to 80 kph from 60 kph
N28 – reduce from 100 to 80 kph from R609 to start of section with northbound climbing lane
Retain 50 kph approaching Ringaskiddy.
Cllr D’Alton: Concerned about the proposed increase in speed limit at Bloomfield. We have asked before that increased safety measures would be brought in for this junction where traffic going to Carrigaline merges with traffic coming from Mahon Point. Increased speed will increase risk.
AE: Will ask for clarification. Agrees that it might be dangerous. Did meet with the consultants/TII as did the City to be sure of what they were proposing but still isn’t quite clear on this particular location.
TII had wanted to increase the speed limit at Ringskiddy and at the Bandon road but they have agreed to keep them as they are.
Will clarify on the Bloomfield one and send out the info to us so we can talk about it at the February meeting.
Cllr McGrath: From the start of the climbing lane above Hilltown heading to the R609. We are reducing from 100 to 80 kph at the climbing lane. But this is where people take the opportunity to slow? Agreed it is written very poorly.
Cllr Harris: Finds climbing lane dangerous anyway. Prone to accidents. Are there any better markings we could use? People move out to pass out and this causes confusion.
AE: There has been a concerted effort over the past 4-5 years to refresh advance notification of climbing lanes, etc. on national roads.
Casual trading bye-laws
MDO: Coming up to end of year, we were successful in application for a town and village renewal scheme. The County Architect wanted to introduce a market area in Passage West and he suggested the area of Chapel Square. The maps for casual trading didn’t include this area for designation so if the bye-laws were approved you couldn’t have that potential facility. We thought it best to come back to the Members and if we’re in agreement, the consultation period for the casual trading bye-laws would be extended to facilitate inclusion of this area. That means consultation for all the County will be extended.
Cllr Murphy: Thinks that when we were on the Town Council in Passage West, Chapel Square was the only area that could have a market. Did you check that out?
MDO: Very conscious that if you are trying to put a market in there because of residents and parking, you’d have to be sensitive. There is potential to put something there but you’d have to look further.
Cllr D’Alton: We had proposed including the Fire Station car park as a spill-over area so there wouldn’t be too much pressure on residents. Also Cllr Murphy is correct. I wasn’t long on the Town Council when a law was to be brought in to eliminate traditional market rights if a market wasn’t held in that traditional location by a certain day. Cllr Kelleher and myself held a small market one Saturday morning at the entrance to the Fire Station car park to preserve those market rights. Presume those traditional market rights will be eliminated when the new casual trading bye-laws are passed. But we need to be sensitive to residents in Chapel Square. Also concerned because some areas we had proposed at our Municipal District meetings for inclusion in the draft bye-laws were omitted. The most critical of these are Roberts Bridge and the island in Ringaskiddy.
Cllr McGrath: Supports. We need to proceed with caution. Agree that consultation should be extended. Any areas that were been mentioned in the Municipal District meetings should be included in the extended period.
MDO: The Municipal District can make a submission on Roberts Bridge.
Cllr McGrath: Then members of the public don’t get a chance to comment. This is a principle. They need to be included.
Cllr D’Alton: Can’t understand what the ongoing issue is with Roberts Bridge. We suggested a number of areas for inclusion in these draft bye-laws. They went to consultation and those areas were not put on line. I brought this to the attention of West Cork from where the consultation was being organised. The maps outlining the proposed casual trading areas were redrawn and sent to me to look at. There were still areas missing. I marked those missing areas up on Google Maps and sent them back, asking that they be included. They are still not included. These were areas agreed by the Municipal District and I can’t understand why if we’re going back out to consultation for Chapel Square and the Fire Station car park that we can’t include Roberts Bridge and the island in Ringaskiddy as we had agreed at Municipal District.
Cllr McGrath: Agrees. As many areas as we can have to be included in the consultation.
AE asked that Cllr D’Alton would send the areas she had marked on Google Maps to the AE, new official maps for the areas would be drawn up and all would be included in the extended consultation.
Cllr MCGrath asks for clarification of all areas to be sent to all of us.
Proposed and seconded.
Town Development Fund/General Municipal Allocation
MDO: We don’t need answers on most of these issues now. Will discuss spending from TDF at February meeting. We can allocate a budget against them for 2017 then.
Just need approval of spending €8833 as the County Council’s contribution to the Town and Village Renewal Fund.
We will be looking for €22,500 from the GMA to be given from this fund to co-fund the recreational grant.
Pay Parking Dividend – also approving 2017 income from pay parking in Douglas to undergrounding overhead wiring in Douglas village.
The €22k won’t be taken off the municipal grants. For the last two years we had put aside €36k for the Carrigaline skate park last year. This is now going to be built.
The money that was left in the GMA at the end of last year was included in the money given to the AE for footpath works.
All proposed and seconded.