Imelda Munster TD: Commuter Price Costs Not Value for Money

With a growing population in the Laytown/Bettystown/Mornington area of the commuter belt, the more uncomfortable the daily journey into the capital becomes. Commuters heading to work in early morning rush or even worse, heading home in the evenings are airtight packed in standing room only carriages for the larger part of their journey, with the added insult being that they have to pay through the nose for it too.

Whereas last November those travelling to the city centre from Naas/Sallins and Kilcock stations were brought into the Short Hop Zone (SHZ), Laytown, Gormanston and Drogheda on the Northern line were once again left within the intercity fare structure.

‘It’s way past time for the boundaries between intercity and commuter areas on the railway network to be reviewed,’ says Deputy Imelda Munster TD for Louth and East Meath, areas that have seen big increases in population as legions of Dubliners have moved out of the city because of high priced housing to areas which offer more affordable housing over the last thirteen or fourteen years.

The current boundary for Short Hop Zones is 35km which means that a monthly ticket for an adult from Laytown to Dublin costs €222 whereas commuters travelling from Balbriggan only pay €152. That is a big difference for two stops and approximately 10km along the tracks. Furthermore, a student travelling to NUI Maynooth from Laytown will pay a weekly fare of €92.60 while their peers in Balbriggan can get a weekly ticket for €45.30…less than half the cost

‘My constituents are extremely angry about this difference in outgoings for travel between them and their near neighbours. They feel that it’s extortionate. Perhaps the commuter boundary of 35km was correct up to the year 2000. However, just as the population has spread out massively from Dublin into the surrounding counties in the years since then, thus that 35km boundary needs to be extended to realistically reflect that increase and I have written to Irish Rail and the National Transport Authority asking them to look into this grossly unfair system as a matter of urgency.’

Adams critical of Minister’s response to Bettystown Development Issue

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth and East Meath TD Gerry Adams has criticised Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s response to a letter he sent regarding the flood impact of a new housing development in Bettystown.

Gerry Adams said,

“I wrote to the Environment Minister outlining my concerns and the concerns of the local community. Local people living in the Northlands and Brabazon Bay housing estates are already tortured with persistent flooding.  They are worried that any further construction in this area can only have a negative impact on the situation.

“I queried the Minister on the flood risks and he has replied stating that a flood risk assessment was carried out for the proposed development. Minister Kelly seems to be of the opinion that raising the level of footpaths, roads and floors coupled with planning permission conditions in this new estate will be enough to prevent flooding here.

“He also informs me that flood prevention works are to be commenced at Northlands Estate in summer 2016. I am not convinced that the raising of footpaths or road levels is sufficient to meet the concerns of residents. Any proposals must be fully discussed with residents who need to be convinced that what is being proposed meets their concerns”.