Labour local election candidate, Robert Dowds has called for a complete overhaul of public transport for the rapidly growing villages of Rathcoole, Saggart and Newcastle. At the moment all three effectively have only one bus per hour serving them. Saggart, he said, is a little more fortunate in that some people there will be within walking distance of the Luas which will suit some commuters. However, the situation in Rathcoole and Newcastle is much worse, especially when the chronic rush hour traffic jams are taken into consideration.

If this situation is to be resolved, some long-term decisions about roads need to be made. However, with a bit of imagination, it should be possible to improve public transport in the short-term. In addition to improving the frequency of the Dublin bus service, it should be possible to provide lockup bicycle parks at the Saggart Luas stop for Rathcoole and Saggart commuters and at Hazelhatch station for commuters from Newcastle. In addition, to get around the chronic traffic jams on Rathcoole’s Main Street, it would be useful if some Bus Éireann services could stop at lay byes on the N7. A resident recently told me that this used to happen until recently on the journey out of town but it has now stopped which adds very considerably to the journey.

I am informed that a petition is to be organised In Rathcoole about the chronic traffic/ transport situation there. Clearly such a petition should be heeded. Unfortunately, the provision of public transport does not come under the remit of local authorities in Ireland. However, Robert Dowds pledged that, if elected, he will organise a coalition of local councillors to pressurise the relevant transport authorities to deliver on the urgent improved public transport requirements of Rathcoole, Saggart and Newcastle.