Re: Re: What future for housing estates?
The most interesting residential land transaction this year without doubt was the CIE sale as Fassaugh Avenue in Cabra, which involved an old cement depot of 9 acres making 28m, but CIE retained a sufficient parcel to develop a platform for a new rail station and incorporated a public right of way into station as part of the contract.
It is a great develpment, but having said that it took almost 2 years of Platform11 lobbying for it to happen, when it should have been already in the IE development plans as a matter of logic. In 2002 Dr John Lynch of CIE stated that this line though Cabra was a works line to a work tunnel. After P11 challenged this “works tunnel” mularkey, a series of incredible excuses were whipped out to constantly play down the potential of this route. We at Platform11 had endless radio debates with the likes of Barry Kenny of IE, who after all the previous excuses were debunked, then said that curvature on the line was too severe for running passengers trains. This went on and on until P11 went before the Oireachtas Transport Commitee with everything from photos of passenger trains entering and exiting the tunnel (the previous weekend!) to satelite images of the line’s curves showing them to have a greater radius that the curves on several parts of the DART. The Oireachtas Transport Commitee a few weeks later travelled on a special train along the route and lo and behold a few months later IE decide that the line is good for commuter services after all.
It is great that this change came about, but it took our group having to go to extraordiary lenghts to get to this situation where land was retained at Cabra for a future station. Why this is, I have no idea. But I can state that if it was not up to P11 kicking and shouting to everybody who would listen about the untapped potential of the Phoenix Park-Spencer dock line though Cabra chances are they would have retained nothing at the old cement terminal for a future station. It is great to see this happen, but it was not because of a sense of sudden enlightment within the boardroom of CIE. Not by a long shot.
We are currently planning to promote the idea of Drumcondra Station as a rail/bus interchange – what you wanna bet we’ll have to fight CIE to do what they should be doing without us having to explain to them what integrated public transport actually is. Remember, this is the company who built a bus station on one side of Boyne across from the train station and called it integrated.
Common sense in Ireland seems to only come up for consideration after the need to test the limits of stupidity and self defeatism have been fully explored. Cabra station is a classic example of this.