The chronic lack of car parking spaces at Sallins rail station has been highlighted by a Naas resident.
Like many people who have moved to the local area, Claire Walsh commutes to Dublin each day to work and her preferred method of getting there and back is by train.
However there are insufficient car park spaces beside the station.
“Like many other young couples, we couldn’t afford to buy a house in Dublin so we looked further afield and came across a new development in Naas,” she said.
“I work in the city centre and had done my research on transport links before we signed on the dotted line so I was confident my daily commute was manageable.”
Unfortunately, she adds, her experience of commuting to the city has been “nothing short of horrific since we moved.”
There are three options.
One is to drive on the N7 for an hour and half either way and pay for on street parking in the city centre because her employer company has only a limited number of parking spaces and many more employees.
Another is the 126 Bus Eireann bus.
“I tried that for several weeks but quickly found that it is sometimes unreliable.”
Taking the train to and from Sallins station worked best for Ms Walsh — until recently.
“The train is always on time, albeit very congested with standing room only. There was always an available parking space at the station and although the car park would be near capacity, you were at least guaranteed a space.”
“However, for the last few weeks there have been no parking spaces available after about 7.10am. This has led to commuters parking their cars in unmarked spaces, resulting in other cars being blocked in when their owners have returned later in the day.” She added: “The excitement of buying a new home in this beautiful town has now been tainted due to pure stress of getting to work every day. It’s a constant pain point and the fact that nothing has been done to resolve this issue disappoints me hugely. Hundreds of people are moving to Naas every few months, why are the transport links to our capital city so bad?”
Irish Rail has plans for more spaces but these will take time to deliver. Sallins car park costs €3.50 a day or €9 per week and a lot of people pay for the year or per month in advance as it’s much cheaper. However Claire says it’s not always possible to get refunds if there are no spaces available “so many people are paying for a service they can’t always use.”