The Taoiseach has confirmed there will be new carriages and park and ride facilities for North Kildare following a Dáil debate.
Dep James Lawless and Dep Frank O'Rourke said they had raised the ongoing issues with the service.
Dep Lawless highlighted a lack of parking capacity and overcrowding on trains from Sallins and Naas train station. He said he raised the matter directly with the Taoiseach, who in reply gave a commitment to invest in parking, capacity, and the electrification on both train lines through Kildare North.
This follows meetings Deputy Lawless has had with Irish Rail, Kildare County Council, and other stakeholders regarding parking at stations in Sallins and Maynooth.
“The programme for Government makes multiple references to public transport and the need to better serve the greater Dublin area. I represent the commuter belt constituency of Kildare North, which is heavily dependent on rail links into the capital and yet the stations can no longer accommodate the demand. The car parks are creaking at the seams," he said.
“The Sallins and Naas station in my constituency is now averaging 165% to 175% occupancy and Maynooth would be very similar. Somebody arriving from 7.30am onwards has no chance of a space and must drive on in the car to Dublin.
“Irish Rail has advised me that it would gladly extend the car parks and examine all the options if the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport would only open the purse strings. Will the Taoiseach ask the Minister to examine this very serious issue and provide park-and-ride facilities across Kildare North and the wider commuter belt,” concluded Deputy Lawless.
Yesterday, Dep Frank O'Rourke welcomed the news that the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Irish Rail had agreed to review their rail fleet capacity in light of the increased demand on rail services at peak times.
“While we have received a commitment that there will be an increase off peak services on both the Maynooth and Kildare Lines, we need increased capacity at peak times. However Irish Rail’s fleet is now at maximum capacity at peak times," he said.
“Following my representations, I have been informed that the NTA and Irish Rail will review their fleet capacity with a view to seeking investment in additional new fleet. I am hopeful that the procurement of the new fleet, which will increase the train capacity at peak times, will commence this year.”
“We are making progress in relation to our public transport; better bus services are on the way, a Park & Ride is to be provided in Kilcock and an orbital bus route from Naas to Blanchardstown servicing Clane, Rathcoffey and Maynooth will be in place by the end of March.”
“As travelling to Dublin City Centre is becoming more challenging by car, we need to provide additional public transport services. I will continue to make representations to have further improvements put in place,” stressed Dep O’Rourke.