A Fianna Fail "Park and Ride" facility in Dublins Phoenix Park.!(soon to be extended the full 3 miles of the main road )
The unfortunate commuters who daily journey by car to their Dublin workplace from various parts of the "one off housing' counties of Meath and Kildare (among others) have taken to abandoning their cars,of late in the suburbs of the city, and in the lower parts of the Phoenix Park where free all day parking is still permitted, and jumping aboard the Luas at Heuston Station or one of the morning commuter trains from Maynooth to Connolly Station, at Castleknock or Ashtown,in hope of arriving in their work place without the stress which involves the increasingly impossible task of reaching the city by car and finding a parking place in central Dublin.
This has brought some grief to the residents of housing estates which are located close to Ashtown,Castleknock, and Clonsilla railway stations
.As usual Fianna Fail have made absolutely no provision for a "park & ride" facility which is commonplace in most suburban and rural railway stations throughout the U.K.
They are not likely to either. Land within 20 kilometres of Dublin is so expensive that the provision of such facilities would-in their own words-not be "cost effective".
Estates such as Martin Savage Park at Ashtown,and the Roselawn Shopping centre are consequently inundated with desperate commuters who occupy every spare parking space on an all day basis.
The owners of Roselawn shopping centre have taken to clamping such vehicles, while the city manager has informed residents of the Ashtown estate that the introduction of "Pay and Display Permit Parking" is the only resolution to their troubles.he has also informed them that if the require the council to erect a sign to encourage such unwelcome visitors to drive with caution, there will be a charge to the residents of 300Euros (inclusive of V.A.T at 21% of course).
No doubt part of the new "Public -Private partnership" ethos now gripping hard strapped overspending local councils nationwide. Meanwhile the exchequer is brimming with booty.
All this, the same week that 130,000 farmers received cheques in the post averaging 50,000 Euros, from the E.E.C. Common Agriculture Policy Charade. Pensions for life.Pensions for doing nothing. Pensions for sitting on their asses.They can still re-enter the market place of course.A market place still restricted to European farmers.The tariffs remain, External producers still pay dearly to enter this exclusive club. A scandal. The voice of democracy is not heard.the people have no Messiah. No Ralph Nader.Only Eddie Hobbs.. These payment are in lieu of former subsidies for beef and milk.
A new cap on an old farmer's hat. Moving deckchairs on the same old Titanic.Where and when will it end.The farmers can continue to produces beef and milk however, after having trousered dollops of European taxpayers money. They can continue with the business of feeding the landless classes,- the hard pressed taxpayers/workers who underwrite all of this largesse with their taxes paying for overpriced food. which the poor cannot afford.Jammy farmers.Bread buttered on both sides. Will it ever end. Almost 7% of the population in Ireland are in consistent poverty, and almost 20% are at risk of poverty. There are a considerable number of people who cannot afford decent food.
The grim reality is that there were people who could not afford a substantial meal on at least one day out of a fortnight when the EU conducted a survey here on income and living conditions last year (2005).
Three out of the eight deprivation indicators used in national statistics on poverty relating directly to food poverty
And now, a day in the life of your average commuter:
TEACHER Catherine Price spends at least three hours every day commuting from her home in Lucan to her teaching job in Marino.
And while Catherine is battling city centre traffic, her husband Dominic - also a teacher - is racing across west Dublin to drop the couple's daughter Heather (3) at the creche . . . before making his way to work in Drimnagh.
Unsurprisingly, leaving home at 7.15am to get to work by 9am leaves the couple exhausted, and weekends are spent catching up on sleep.
"Catherine leaves at 7.15 or so and gets into work by 8.40am, if all goes to plan," Dominic said yesterday. "I leave the house at 7.45, drop Heather to the creche and then try to get back on the N4 to go to Drimnagh.
"I had a knee operation recently, but used to cycle because it was the only way I could guarantee getting to work on time. Catherine is over 90 minutes getting home in the evening, and you can plan nothing."
Public transport is "not an option" because there is none available, he says. Despite their hellish commute, neither want to leave Lucan. "When you're well-established in your job it's very hard to move.
"We like Lucan, we like the area, the schools are good and the people friendly," says Dominic.
Similiar problems face thousands of commuters throughout Leinster,who try to avoid the nightmare car journey into Dublin by parking their vehicles and linking up with public transport in outlying towns and villages.
. A CALL to Meath County Council to negotiate with landowners on the Navan-Dublin Road with a view to establishing a park-and-ride facility for commuters has been made by the Mayor of Navan, Councillor Tommy Reilly in November 2006
He said that several hundred commuters left Navan every day for Dublin. It was essential that a secure park and ride facility be provided to facilitate a combination of public and private transport.
We have to open up the opportunity for people to get into the capital city with the least amount of inconvenience and frustration. I feel it is the duty of the local authority to provide a good and secure park-and-ride facility and I am hoping that the officials will take up the idea and run with it.
Kells Labour councillor Brian Collins said that he had placed a motion before Kells Town Council in 2005 calling for park and ride facilities to be installed along the length of the N3 so as to reduce the number of cars on the roads, and reduce the travel time to and from Dublin
He said the Government cared little about commuters and their hard-pressed families. "They did not even bother to consider such a move over the last few years," he said.
Referring to the prospect of an agreement between the church authorities in Kells and the Town Council, he said that while such an agreement would be welcomed, it would create the reality that there would be no parking facility for the many commuters who used the church car park to park and ride.
The reality is that the loss of the informal park and ride facilities at the church will represent a victory for traffic management in the town, would gain additional revenue for the town council and the church but would represent a serious setback for the many people who were forced to drive to Kells in order to catch an early bus to Dublin or Cavan.
"These people must now give serious consideration to driving the whole length of their journey. They have been left with few options," he added.
"Wake up citizen workers.You outnumber the predators.Register. Vote.The farmers & Fianna Fail are screwing you.
(Fine Gael will do the same)."
To whom can the people really turn.