We need a Dart station in Cabra: observation on the Dart South-West Consultation
23 June 2021
Observation on the Dart South-West consultation
Senator Marie Sherlock and Cllr Declan Meenagh
"We are writing to comment on the consultation on Dart Plus South West. We believe the Dart Plus program is generally good and a valuable addition to the city’s transport network however we think the way Dart Plus South West is being carried out is making a big mistake which is putting the project at risk from a major public backlash.
The key issue is that there should be public gain from these projects and for people in Cabra to see more trains whiz by without any way to access them is not reasonable.
While Irish Rail may claim that Cabra is served by Broombridge, this is on the edge of Cabra West and is a significant walk for people who live in the other end of Cabra. It must be remembered that for years now this line has been dangerously over capacity and although the capacity is being doubled with the DART West project, this will quickly fill up. Adding another transport option makes sense and will encourage further use of public transport by people in Cabra.
We have recently welcomed the Luas extension to Finglas, but this means that the trams will be crowded and have less capacity for people trying to get on in Cabra. We are going to be impacted by bus connects as well but the impact of this is not yet clear. The B spine is going to be crowded in the same way the current 38 and 39 busses are.
The future of public transport is about getting people to different places in our city, not just one hub station. Adding a station in Cabra makes sense because a large amount of high rise apartments are being built right next to it.
Separating the process of electrifying the track and delivering stations is only going to serve to annoy people who will have to endure a lot of noise for building works they can’t benefit from. The NTA needs to cop on and provide guarantees and a clear timeline for these additional stations and prove that they can deliver joined up thinking in terms of transport infrastructure in the city.
We understand Irish Rail needs central funding for these stations but Irish Rail needs to move on this now and make a commitment contingent on funding and give a realistic timetable for starting design work and applying for the funding. Even now, opening a station with 2 trains per hour would be a welcome service and when the line is electrified it would be easy to increase the numbers. At the very least we need the application process to start now.
We are supporting calls by the Dublin City Council Central Area Committee calling on the NTA to fund a station at Cabra on this line.
We are also concerned about some smaller issues with this proposal, including the possibility of changing bridge parapets and walls. If this is necessary, we want good quality, nicely designed walls and fences, not like the mess the Luas left behind. There needs to be a strategy to manage rodent displacement caused by these works.
Irish Rail and the NTA are making the wrong decision here and it should be revisited. Our city is clogged with cars and to reduce this we need to make public transport as accessible as possible by providing convenient stations for people.
A potential station site on the Cabra Road junction with Carnlough Road is 1.7km away from the existing Broombridge Station and a 21 minute walk according to Google maps. The site is also 1km or a 13 minute walk from the Cabra Luas stop, but this requires taking a tram to Broombridge to a access Irish Rail so adding a station at Cabra Road would make sense and help to serve more people."