SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL – LUCAN ROAD/CHAPEL HILL

February 28, 2017  

Following contact from numerous parents of children attending the five schools (three primary and two secondary) in the Lucan Road/Chapel Hill area, Cllr. William Lavelle conducted an online survey on the issue of safe routes to the five schools. This is designed to seek feedback from parents, staff and pupils which will then be used to support requests to South Dublin County Council and the National Transport Authority for safety improvements.

The survey is now closed. You can continue to email comments to wlavelle@sdublincoco.ie

Watch this space for reports on follow-up action on foot of the survey.

William will be conducting similar surveys in other areas at a further stage.

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Marking the march to foundation of the State – not just armed highlights

September 9, 2016  

Below is William’s article published in the Sunday Independent of 21st August 2016.

 

Marking the march to foundation of the State – not just armed highlights

1916 Rising was just the start of a series of events which led to freedom and these also deserve to be honoured, writes William Lavelle

Why is it that we rarely celebrate the Irish State? It may not yet be the State which many aspire, be that in terms of ideals of economic, social, cultural or political goals. But still it’s our achievement and we have a lot to be proud of. We have a sovereign, independent and democratic state which is the envy of many activists around the world who still yearn for their country to be free from external domination or internal despotism.

Yet we don’t celebrate our Statehood in Ireland and do little to honour the foundation of our State. Yes, we did mark 1916; and we marked it very well. The programme of events captured the public’s hearts and minds while engendering a mature and responsible commemoration of the Rising and of Irish freedom.

But the Rising itself was and must be seen as just the start of much greater historical arc leading to the foundation of the State. There are many points on this arc which should be marked with similarly-scaled Centenary Commemorations of their own. But will they be? I fear there is a real risk that the 1916 commemorations could end up archived in our minds as a one-off period of celebration, while any further commemorations of subsequent key events in the period leading to 1923 could fade away in a fog of public lack of interest.

We will have an opportunity over the coming years to mark significant political and constitutional milestones on the road to Irish Statehood, including the ground-breaking 1917 by-elections, the general election of 1918 and the momentous formation of the first Dail, the contribution of local authorities in undermining the British administration and the negotiation and acceptance of the Treaty.

Celebrating these milestones leading to the emergence of Irish Statehood offers a broader focus for Commemoration, avoiding solely the militaristic history of that period. Unfortunately, there are some who have sought to commemorate 1916 by talking up violence as a virtue (including during the Troubles) while talking down our State in what too often seemed to be a narrow-minded and opportunistic political stratagem.

Such a narrow focus misses the point that the revolution of 1916-1923 was not just about armed resistance. In honouring the tradition of Collins and Griffith, we are commemorating not victory in battle or glorious defeat. Instead we are marking something much greater, the emergence of constitutional Irish Statehood.

General Michael Collins may have been the man who Arthur Griffith famously said “won the war”. He may be the man the army text books hail as the father of guerrilla warfare. Yet on his speeches during the Treaty Debate, and in his personal writings, Collins sets out his much more considered and comprehensive position on statehood, constitutionalism and the rule of law.

In a landmark speech in Waterford in March 1922, Collins stressed that it is not justifiable for a minority to oppose the wishes of the majority of their own countrymen, except by constitutional means. Later that year, at the height of the Civil War, when Deputy Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ginger O’Connell was kidnapped by anti-treaty forces, Collins declared that “the safety of the nation is the first law; and henceforth we shall not rest until we have established the authority of the people of Ireland in every square mile under their jurisdiction.” Collins, the soldier, grew into a champion of constitutionalism and he endeavoured to instil the rule of law – the people’s law – as the foundation of the nascent Irish State.

In fostering a new Irish Statehood, the Treaty ushered in a radical transformation of relationships within these isles – between the Imperial British State and the new Irish Free State. This is a theme which, nearly a century later, presents a remarkable current relevance as we find ourselves once again in deep debate on the possibility of a radical transformation of relationships within these isles, arising from ‘Brexit’.

Central among these, both 100 years ago and today, were economic relationships. It is often overlooked that, for Griffith and Collins, the economic relationship between Britain and Ireland and the potential for self-directed economic development and prosperity on the island of Ireland were central tenets in their pursuit of Irish freedom. Griffith’s whole raison d’être going back well before 1916 was that of economic nationalism. Collins during the Treaty debate lamented the subjugation of the Irish economy while he also famously wrote quite comprehensively of his vision for indigenous Irish economic development.

The fact that some of these themes, from respect for the rule of law to international economic relationships, still hold an enduring relevance reflects the depth and complexity of what was going on in political and constitutional discourse in Ireland 100 years ago. The State’s programme for the Decade of Commemorations is to be commended for its efforts to reflect this depth of history which was far more than just militaristic.

Today we will gather at the burial places in Glasnevin Cemetery to commemorate the 94th anniversary of the deaths of Collins and Griffith and to reflect on the rich legacy of their contribution to Irish statehood. It is hoped that, over coming years, the Irish State which Collins and Griffith were instrumental in crafting will do all it can to mark those political and constitutional milestones leading to our Statehood, just as we remembered 1916 during the current year.

 

Responding to Dublin’s twin crises of housing supply and traffic congestion

September 9, 2016  

The following is a summary of William’s presentation to the Annual Conference of the Regional Studies Association Ireland 2016. The conference theme is ‘Planning for Regional Development: The National Planning Framework as a Roadmap for Ireland’s Future?

 

Dublin is facingm50 the twin crises of housing supply and traffic congestion

We need to build more houses in Dublin.

But there are already warnings that the road network will struggle to handle new development.

The 2016 TomTom Traffic Index ranks as joint 2nd most congested city of ALL cities globally – irrespective of size – when it comes to morning peak congestion, with a congestion level score of 85%. Only Mexico City ranks worst.

Yet, in the absence of adequate public transport, Dublin’s roads will be expected to accommodate a disproportion share of trips from new development in places such as Adamstown and Clonburris.

We need a more coordinated response to match housing supply with transport capacity.

Disappointingly, some of the proposed transport infrastructure projects identified in the NTA Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy 2016-2035, which would service lands earmarked for plan-led housing supply, were not included in the Government’s Capital Investment Programme 2016-2021. For example, the DART underground tunnel which would facilitate the extension of high frequency commuter rail services from Lucan, Clondalkin, Adamstown and Clonburris.

However, with the new National Planning Framework due to be finalised in early 2017 and the mid-term review of the Capital Programme now also due in 2017, there is a now a timely and exciting opportunity to begin aligning capital investment with regional development and spatial planning objectives; and in turn to support realisation of local and regional plans such as the GDA Transport Strategy.

 

 

 

Open Kishogue rail station – Sign the online petition!

May 22, 2016  

William has launched a fresh campaign calling on the new Minister for Transport Shane Ross must open the €6.35 million ‘ghost station’ at Kishogue (close to Foxborough, Moy Glas & Griffeen), to tie in with the planned reopening of the Phoenix Park rail tunnel.

The reopening of Phoenix Park tunnel will allow trains from the Kildare line, including Lucan and Adamstown, to travel via Glasnevin Junction to the Connolly, Pearse and Grand Canal Dock stations.

Kishogue station is located on the Outer Ring Road, within a short walking distance of multiple Lucan housing estates, including Foxborough, Moy Glas & Griffeen Glen.

Both Irish Rail and the National Transport Authority have claimed that funding is necessary for works to complete an access road and car-park.

Minister Ross must release the funding to complete the works to the access road and car-park and he must give us a firm commitment that this station will be opened at the same time as the reopening of the Phoenix Park tunnel.

Please sign the online petition at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/minister-shane-ross-must-open-kishogue-rail

Image courtesy of The Echo Newspaper

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Lavelle welcomes NTA plans to reopen Phoenix Park rail tunnel

April 3, 2014  

Rail link will greatly benefit West Dublin including Adamstown SDZ

phoenixparktunnel -540x400Cllr. William Lavelle, Fine Gael local councillor for Lucan, has welcomed the National Transport Authority’s plans to reopen the Phoenix Park rail tunnel to allow commuter trains from the Kildare line, including Lucan and Adamstown, to travel directly to Dublin City Centre and the Docklands. The reopening of the Phoenix Park rail tunnel would also allow trains from the Kildare line to integrate with both the Maynooth line and with the planned new Luas cross-city line. The plan to reopen the tunnel is contained in the NTA Integrated Implementation Plan 2013-2018 launched on April 3rd by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar.

Cllr. Lavelle stated: “I warmly welcome this plan to reopen the Phoenix Park rail tunnel. This proposal represents common-sense planning: using existing unused infrastructure to maximise public transport capacity. I have been a long-time supporter of the need to reopen the tunnel as I believe it will provide a sustainable short-medium term solution to bring more Lucan and Adamstown commuters direct to the city centre and docklands; in turn reducing traffic congestion and aiding both the regional economy and quality-of-life.”

“The opening of the tunnel and provision of a direct rail link will also support residential development in areas such as the Adamstown SDZ (strategic development zone) where a rail station is already in place.”

Over the past five years, Cllr. Lavelle has repeatedly lobbied the NTA and Irish Rail to reopen the tunnel. South Dublin County Council have previously agreed motions proposed by Cllr. Lavelle calling for the re-opening the Phoenix Park rail tunnel.

In 2010 Cllr. Lavelle received a response to a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Transport seeking information on any feasibility studies carried into the possible use of Phoenix Park rail tunnel. The information released to Cllr. Lavelle came from the 2003 ‘Dublin Interconnector Rail Study – Summary Report’ prepared by Parsons Brinckerhoff and concluded that the Phoenix Park rail tunnel could never be an alternative to Interconnector (DART underground) proposal. It did however conclude that in the short-term, the use of the Phoenix Park would provide some ‘early benefits to users of the Kildare line’ and its use ‘should therefore be given serious consideration’”. 

Cllr. Lavelle added that “in the long-term the proposed DART Underground proposal must be delivered this project would be a game-changer for Dublin transport. But in the short-medium term the Phoenix Park tunnel can be reopened and should be used. The plans published by Minister Varadkar and NTA are therefore very welcome.”

Lavelle welcomes proposal to update masterplan for future extension for Griffeen Valley Park

March 30, 2014  

          Last October, William first proposed an updated plan for extension of Griffeen Valley Park on lands between the railway line and Grand Canal

          Local sports clubs, including nearby Lucan Sarsfields, could benefit from access to additional playing pitches

William Lavelle, local councillor for Lucan, has welcomed the agreement of South Dublin County Council Parks Department to prepare an updated masterplan for future extension for Griffeen Valley Park on lands between the railway line and Grand Canal.

Last October (2013), William tabled a motion at a meeting of the council’s Lucan Area Committee proposing the preparation of new plans for the extension of Griffeen Valley Park to the area south of the railway line.

At the time William explained:I know from speaking with many local sports clubs, including in particular with Lucan Sarsfields GAA club who are located nearby, that there is a significant demand in the Lucan area for additional pitches

“The extension of the Grand Canal green route through this area south of the railway has opened up the area and highlighted the great potential that exists here. I believe the provision of much-needed playing pitches should be the next phase of development in this area. Clubs like Lucan Sarsfields would benefit greatly from my proposal.”

Since last October William has continued to push this proposal with the support of his Fine Gael colleague Cllr. Emer Higgins.

At the March 2014 meeting of the Lucan Area Committee, the council Park’s Department reported that:

“The Masterplan for Grange Park, Griffeen Valley was approved by the Council in July 2006  (see below). It is considered that this Masterplan is still relevant and appropriate for the development of the park at this location there have been some changes since the Part 8 was approved:

          to the existing landscape of the area, most notably the construction of the link from Griffeen Valley to the Grand Canal

           the report approved by the Council included for the provision of allotments on the site and which were not included in the original Part 8 public consultation

           the  plans for the pitches have been revised to include for a repositioning of the pitches

          the Clonburris Local Area Plan made provision for a small extension of the area of the park

           the approved Part 8 in 2011 for the re-location of the depot from Esker Lane to Grange Park

It is therefore appropriate that all of these changes and which together do not alter the overall intentions in the original Masterplan – are brought together in an updated Masterplan.  This updated masterplan will be presented to the Elected Members at a future Area Committee Meeting in 2014”

William welcomed this report stating: “I look forward to working with the Council to update this Masterplan. If re-elected to the Council in May’s local elections, I will prioritise effort to secure investment in Griffeen Valley Park, including the park extension as will be mapped-out in the updated masterplan.”

 

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Lavelle welcomes funding for two new houses at St. Finian’s shop site

March 13, 2014  

William Lavelle, local councillor for Lucan, has welcomed the capital funding allocation by Government to South Dublin County Council to build two new houses in St. Finian’s estate on the former shop site. The Council already voted to grant planning permission for these two new houses. 

William stated: “As local councillor, I have lobbied for two years to redevelop the unsightly former shop site and to lift the overall look of the estate.”

“I wish to thank my colleague, local Minister Frances Fitzgerald TD who helped secure Government funding for the construction of these two houses.”

Lavelle welcomes vote to introduce 30 minutes free parking in Lucan Village

March 10, 2014  

“Move will reduce costs for visitors and shoppers and will support the commercial life of our Village”

          South Dublin County Council introduces measures for urban centres throughout County

          Lucan Councillor commenced successful campaign with respect to Lucan Village last October

          Lavelle had criticised excessive profits being generated from pay-parking

          Move welcomed by local businesses

William Lavelle, local councillor for Lucan, has welcomed the by South Dublin County Council to seek to introduce 30 minutes free parking in Lucan Village and other urban centres in the County Council’s area. The new arrangements will be phased in over the next four to six weeks.

Cllr. Lavelle states: “This vote to introduce 30 minutes free parking represents a major victory and massive boost for Lucan Village as it will reduce costs for visitors and shoppers and will support the commercial life of our Village”.

Today’s decision was welcomed by local businesses in Lucan Village.

William is Chairman of the Lucan Village Network which brings together local businesses, residents and community groups and the Council to seek to enhance and promote Lucan Village

William initiated a campaign to introduce 30 minutes free parking in Lucan Village following a report presented last October’s meeting of the Council’s Lucan Area Committee (22/10/13) which showed that parking charge revenue in Lucan Village in the 12 months from September 2012 to August 2013 totalled €260,000, representing 40% of all parking charge revenue accruing to South Dublin County Council. The report also indicated that, in 2012, South Dublin County Council generated a net profit from parking charges (after parking warden costs, VAT etc) of €345,000. Given that Lucan Village contributes 40% of all parking charge revenue, it is estimated that Lucan Village contributes €140,000 in a net parking profit to the council.

Commenting on these figures last October, William stated: “It seems Lucan Village is proving a ‘cash cow’ for South Dublin County Council when it comes to pay parking.”

William added: “I appreciate the need of some form of parking control so as to prevent all-day parking. But I don’t think we should be using pay-parking as a cash generator. But I believe the profits being made from parking in Lucan Village absolutely justified our radical review of pay-parking.”

On foot of this report, William worked with Fine Gael colleagues to seek agreement on the  proposal for 30 minutes free parking.  William particularly commended Templeogue’s Cllr. Colm Brophy who is Chairman of the Council’s Transport Policy Committee (SPC) stating: “Colm showed real leadership in steering this proposal through the Council.”

The new arrangement will not apply to residential areas and a separate review of residential parking will follow.

Fine Gael Ard Fheis hears warning that worsening traffic congestion will hamper Dublin’s economic growth!

March 1, 2014  

25a busCllr. William Lavelle, local councillor for Lucan, has addressed the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in the RDS, warning that worsening traffic congestion will hamper Dublin’s economic growth.

William stated: “For three years, Fine Gael in Government has worked to get more people back to work; and we see the results of this every day in the form of more cars on our roads, because more people back to work means more trips to work.”

“As local councillor for Lucan, I see this every morning, every evening, in lengthening tailbacks on the N4.”

Cllr. Lavelle outlined how in Lucan, council road engineers had recently reported that “since September the level of congestion has increased. This is primarily due to (road) capacity provided in recent years being finally used up…”

Cllr. Lavelle warned that “worsening traffic congestion will hamper Dublin’s economic growth”.

William added that: “going forward, we can’t just rely on individual car trips to get people to work. We need to provide and promote more public transport options, so those who can use public transport have that option; and so that those who need to use their car can do so without having to face crippling congestion.”

Cllr. Lavelle argued that in the short term, this should mean putting more buses on the Capital’s roads while making sure routes are direct and fares are kept low.

William stated: “When you see, as I do in Lucan: overcrowded buses, passing by and not stopping at overcrowded bus-stops; then you know we need more buses on the roads! But if we want more buses on the roads and if we want the state’s subvention to stretch further, then we need to open up the market to more private operators, in healthy, regulated competition with Dublin Bus; not replacing or privatising Dublin Bus.”

Cllr. Lavelle further stated that “the recent decision of the National Transport Authority to open-up only 10% of routes to competitive tendering; and none to the city centre; simply does not go far enough!”

“Dublin needs more buses on the road. Dublin needs more bus competition.”

 

Speech by Cllr. William Lavelle to Fine Gael Ard-Fheis 

That this Ard Fheis calls on the Government to begin to increase bus service capacity in Dublin, both private and public, to help alleviate traffic congestion and support economic growth.

Chairman, Ministers, Delegates,

For three years, Fine Gael in Government has worked to get our economy back on track;  to get more people back to work; and Fine Gael’s policies are working!

We see the results of this, every day, in the form of more cars on our roads; because more people back to work means more trips to work.

As local councillor for Lucan, I see this every morning, every evening, in lengthening tailbacks on the N4.

Dublin’s road network is beginning to creak under this extra pressure. We simply don’t have enough road space. In Lucan, council road engineers recently reported, in writing; and I quote: “since September the level of congestion has increased… This is primarily due to (road) capacity provided in recent years being finally used up…”

Remember, traffic congestion does not come without a cost.

Worsening traffic congestion will hamper Dublin’s economic growth!

So, going forward, we can’t just rely on individual car trips to get people to work. We need to provide and promote more public transport options.  So those who can use public transport have that option; and so those who need to use their car can, without having to face crippling congestion.

In the short term, this should mean putting more buses on the Capital’s roads while making sure routes are direct and fares are kept low.

When you see, as I do in Lucan: overcrowded buses, passing by and not stops; then you know we need more buses on the roads!

But let’s be realistic. The scope for additional Government subvention is limited; and anyway subvention can only go so far. If we want more buses on the roads and if we want the state’s subvention to stretch further then we need to open up the market to more private operators – in healthy, regulated competition with Dublin Bus; not replacing or privatising Dublin Bus.

In this regard, the decision of the National Transport Authority to open-up only 10% of routes to competitive tendering; and none to the city centre; simply does not go far enough!

Dublin needs more buses on the road. Dublin needs more bus competition.

I commend this motion to the Ard-Fheis.

Thank You

 

Lavelle calls on bank-appointed Receiver to improve Dodsboro/ Paddocks boundary

February 28, 2014  

William Lavelle, local councillor for Lucan, has called on Grant Thornton to authorise the carrying of work to provide a more attractive boundary treatment between the undeveloped lands south of ‘The Paddocks’ and Dodsboro Road/Tandys Lane. Grant Thornton are the Receivers appointed by the banks to manage ‘The Paddocks’ development and lands which were previously owned by Mapelwood Developments. 

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William stated: “Residents in Dodsboro are fed-up having to look out at this unsightly boundary which comprises ramshackle and falling-down metal railings fronting an unfinished building site.”

William has previously called on the Council to seek to use it powers to force the receiver to improve the boundary. However in response to a motion which William tabled at last October’s meeting of the Lucan Area Committee, council officials reported that “attractive boundary treatments to Dodsboro Cottages and Tandy’s lane are beyond the boundaries of the envisaged taking-in-charge areas and are in areas which are the subject of current live Planning Permissions. Accordingly we, SDCC, cannot force the Developer to carry out works here.”

William stated: “I intend to intensify pressure on the receiver to try to sort out this boundary issue once and for all.”

William has tabled the following motion which will be discussed at the Lucan Area Committee this coming Tuesday:

“That this Area Committee requests the Manager to formally write, on behalf of this Committee, to Mr. Paul McCann of Grant Thornton (in his role as the Receiver appointed to manage the former Maplewood lands at Adamstown SDZ) to ask if he would agree to authorising works in response to the long-standing requests from the residents of Dodsboro Cottages and from this Committee for a more attractive boundary treatment between the undeveloped lands south of The Paddocks and Dodsboro Road/Tandys Lane; and to further advise Mr. McCann that members of this Committee are available to meet with him on-site to further discuss this matter.”

In response to William’s motion, Council officials agreed to contact the Receiver and to support my request.

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