2nd December, 2013

The Traffic Department of Dublin City Council is currently examining a proposal that would see the introduction of greater traffic calming measures at the junction of the North Circular Road, Old Cabra Road and Prussia Street at Hanlon’s Corner. Traffic Engineers will have to carry out an assessment and on-site survey before reporting back to local Councillors with a recommendation on the matter. Let me assure you that as soon as I have an update on the matter, I will be in touch to keep residents informed. 

There is not a week that goes by where I am not contacting the Public Domain Unit of the City Council to remove bags of rubbish dumped at certain locations across the north-west inner city. Some people have asked whether security cameras could be installed at locations where dumping continues to be a problem. Whilst they could, the images recorded by them could not be used as evidence against anyone accused of illegally dumping rubbish. The Courts have ruled in previous cases initiated by the Council for littering offences that CCTV images are inadmissible as evidence. Therefore, installing CCTV is of little benefit. However, the Council has begun a Litter Blitz Operation in the litter black-spots across the city and are using the relevant sections of the new Waste Bye Laws to pursue those responsible for the illegal dumping of waste. This approach is multi-faceted and includes the calling to homes by Litter Wardens requesting residents to provide evidence of how they are disposing of their rubbish as required under the bye laws as well as inspecting the multi-unit privately rented properties in the area to establish whether they meet the standards as set down in legislation for example whether landlords have provided adequate waste storage facilities for their tenants. There will also be an amount of surveillance going on to catch those responsible red-handed.

Road-Bridge Ltd has been selected by the Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA) to complete the site infrastructure and public realm works. This is the single biggest contract to be awarded by the GDA as it involves the laying out of the new internal road and paths, services and the development of the playing pitches. Road-Bridge Ltd will also be responsible for the laying of the new drainage infrastructure that will link up with the existing drainage network near Smithfield Square. A further three contractors were selected in recent days to complete the necessary stabilisation works on the roof of the Old Laundry Building, transforming the old Top House and the cluster of buildings near the old gate on Grangegorman Lower into facilities that can be used for educational purposes from next September. The GDA has also lodged two further planning applications with Dublin City Council in recent weeks. These relate to the creation of a space at the rear of homes on Grangegorman Villas West to provide vehicular access at the new service entrance just beyond the houses. The other application relates to the provision of replacement parking facilities for Dublin Bus coaches in Broadstone. In order to create the new entrance to the Grangegorman Campus from Broadstone and to facilitate the new Luas Cross-City, Dublin Bus will lose some of its parking facilities. A further application will be lodged shortly for the construction of a new HSE Primary Care Centre towards the North Circular Road-end of the campus.

Following the Government’s adoption of the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020, cyclists involved in dangerous cycling may be liable to a fixed charge notice. It is expected that this decision will come into effect from the middle of 2014. This measure is being brought in to promote safe cycling practices, discourage dangerous cycling, and as part of a broader strategy to encourage more people to cycle on a more regular basis. Cycling has many benefits including reduced congestion on the roads, benefits to health and fitness, and is a much more sustainable form of travel than the motor car. The introduction of such a measure is to better ensure our roads are safe for all who use them. Roads are a shared public space and belong to everyone: drivers, cyclists, pedestrian and heavy vehicles. We all have to use them responsibly and obey the rules that exist to protect us all. The final list of offences has not yet been determined, but these are likely to include: breaking a red light; cycling on a footpath; and a failure to yield right of way at a ‘Yield’ sign. No decision has been taken on the level of fines but they are likely to be in the region of €50 or higher – lower than equivalent motoring fines, but sufficiently high to act as a deterrent. As and when I have further information on this package of reforms, I will be in touch to keep residents informed