Irish rail are proposing an end to direct city centre Dart services. This will entail the introduction of a shuttle service, where passengers will have to change at Howth Junction. To compensate for this, Irish Rail is proposing to double the frequency of Dart services from Howth, along the route through, Sutton and Bayside.
The doubling of services at peak times between the hours of 7-10 and 4-7 in the afternoon is to be welcomed but there are traffic concerns as the level crossing at Station Road beside Sutton Dart station could potentially be closed for more than 30 minutes each hour during the morning and evening peak times. The impact on the Baldoyle Road level crossing is anticipated to be much less severe as Darts would pass roughly simultaneous in both directions, which is much more efficient.
The traffic modeling carried out by Arup on behalf of Irish Rail concludes that there is sufficient road capacity to cater for increased delays at level crossings. The modeling is based on the assumption that as long as tail backs and delays do not create knock on delays in the wider road network, then they are deemed acceptable.
However, a closure of Station Road to vehicular traffic, cyclists and pedestrians for more than 50% of peak morning and evening times would be hugely disruptive. This could result in combined closures of more than three hours between 7am and 10am and 4pm to 7pm which in reality will lead to serious congestion at Sutton Cross and tailbacks even bigger than what is currently experienced.
As this is still at proposal stage, locals are asked to make their voices heard and to make submissions to Irish Rail to express their concerns. The facility to make submission closes tomorrow, April 8th. It’s the last day to have your say.