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Rural based commuters

All things commuting + bus and rail enthusiasts
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artybike
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:05 pm

Rural based commuters

#1

Post by artybike »

I'd like to kick off this thread with the reason I've started it. I was on the 'forum who shall not be named' and I was honestly shocked by how they viewed cycling (as a money making tourism product). I was equally shocked at how motorways were seen as the answer to public transport issues, so I'd really like a more 'thought through' discussion.

Irish Rural public transport is awful. If you don't have a car, small town Ireland is difficult & village life, impossible. The town I live in has over 4k people but the social welfare office for that town is in another, which has no direct bus service. It would take a full day of negotiating time tables, trains & buses to attend a meeting there. Over €23 to go 14 miles!!

Furthermore 50% of Galway citys' commuters live in the county. What practical steps can folk at grass roots do, since our politicians have no interest in public transport? I was shocked at this RTE reporthttps://www.rte.ie/news/investigations- ... -expenses/ which gives me the impression, most of our politicians DRIVE EVERYWHERE
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Ronald Binge
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:54 pm

Re: Rural based commuters

#2

Post by Ronald Binge »

Road building is the line of least resistance, and rail is counterintuitive to many who haven’t been out of the driving seat since they left a well-known educational establishment based on the side of the Republic’s first flyover bridge. It’s not surprising that the Little America instincts are driving rural Ireland down the sprawl route - and why rail solutions encounter so much resistance. Sell land with planning for one house or ten, chances are it’s development value is the same. Turn your small town building into an eyesore, sure it will be CPO’d eventually. Where is the incentive to create denser populated towns and cities, when the do-nothing, change-nothing option is more of the same?
Kaiser
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Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:55 am

Re: Rural based commuters

#3

Post by Kaiser »

I think you have to remember that a lot of people who choose to live in smaller towns, don't WANT to be living on top of each other. If they've moved out of Dublin for example, it's getting away from that overcrowded denser environment into something with more space, a sense of community, and more relaxed generally that was likely a big part of the appeal (as well as the prohibitive costs of getting such a setup in Dublin).

Rail has its place but it too is expensive and cumbersome. A friend of mine in the Midlands has to get 2 trains at maybe 2 hours total (between actual travel time and waiting for the connection) to make a trip that takes 45 minutes by car.

Like it or not, road transport is the only practical solution whether it be private car or public buses - but the latter aren't economically viable in most cases beyond a skeleton service either.
Crusty Burke
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:41 pm

Re: Rural based commuters

#4

Post by Crusty Burke »

I would agree with Kaiser's point that rail as it stands is too expensive and cumbersome, especially outside Dublin.

I believe the reason behind Irish Rail's skeletal timetabling for rural rail is largely funding but also management. Get the funding and the management right - much of the issues could be solved. I would argue that the Irish Rail monopoly needs to be broken up and funded properly. If Irish Rail were broken up into four companies covering Commuter Rail, Intercity, Freight and Rural Rail - each funded properly to allow a 24 hour railway to operate this would go a long way to resolving the issues with poor timetabling. It is ridiculous that the last train from Dublin to many areas is as early as 635pm. This indicates to me at least a major shortage of rolling stock and drivers.
Joe Guffy
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:11 pm

Re: Rural based commuters

#5

Post by Joe Guffy »

Crusty Burke wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:00 am I would agree with Kaiser's point that rail as it stands is too expensive and cumbersome, especially outside Dublin.

I believe the reason behind Irish Rail's skeletal timetabling for rural rail is largely funding but also management. Get the funding and the management right - much of the issues could be solved. I would argue that the Irish Rail monopoly needs to be broken up and funded properly. If Irish Rail were broken up into four companies covering Commuter Rail, Intercity, Freight and Rural Rail - each funded properly to allow a 24 hour railway to operate this would go a long way to resolving the issues with poor timetabling. It is ridiculous that the last train from Dublin to many areas is as early as 635pm. This indicates to me at least a major shortage of rolling stock and drivers.
Gaps in timetables, funding and infrastructure all rest with Kildare Street, and thats regardless of who's in charge of shit. It's clear to see the difference in service levels between the routes on the Kildare corridor and Amiens Street, DART excluded.
Hairy-Joe
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:33 pm

Re: Rural based commuters

#6

Post by Hairy-Joe »

Rural based commuters are scattered due to the love of one-off houses and ribbon development. That type of development is difficult to provide decent public transport. That being said, we have bugger all rural transport for commuters!

I can't see why we can't have integrated transport and ticketing. Surely it's not hard to have a somewhat sensible timetableing to encourage connections. As well as Kaiser's example, if I want to get to work using public transport, it would take almost 3 hours door to door with a wait of over 45 minutes waiting for a connection. It takes me 25 minutes to drive. I'd also be late and that's with me taking the first bus at home.

Rail is shocking expensive but I don't know why the rail that's there can't be used more intelligently. For example, why isn't there large Park'n'Ride set up next to the rail lines outside of Dublin, Limerick, Cork etc. If they were setup, then bus routes could feed into these stations.

If you want to see examples of how it should be done, look at any small town in Germany to see. Two years ago I was in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a small town in the Bavarian Alps. It's about the size of Ennis or Carlow in terms of population but much smaller in terms of area. The town had 5 bus routes in and around the town (taking in the small villages nearby) and it had a flat fare structure. Buses were every 30 minutes or 60 minutes and when I was there I didn't need a car. Now, try to do that in any town in Ireland.
artybike
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:05 pm

Re: Rural based commuters

#7

Post by artybike »

I'm lucky enough to live by a busy well used rail station & it's a dream. It meant that when my sister, who used to drive, had 'Acquired Brian injury, living with us wasn't' such a bad option. She also has mobility issues, so the bus is a hassle. Live within the town limits, with such a transport facility is excellent & I would only wish it was in most towns.... many families can reduce to x1 car if there's a location/timetable job that works for them.

I've also nigh on 30 yrs experience working with young people (who also can't drive :roll: ). It becomes very challenging for parents to fulfill their 'ferrying needs' as they get older. Many parents don't realise this when they're building their x5 bed dream house 3 miles, out the country. They become slaves to the car & their children's extra curricular activities

Which leads me to... when the children finally fly the coop, I've noticed in our area, newly retired empty nesters down size & move back to the town, lamenting the years they lived 'out of the town', waxing lyrical about 'everything being so handy' . They usually sell their huge house to young couples who may have no more than x3 children. Those young parents go on to discover how far out x3 miles can actually be in 'time cost' as their little ones start school, GAA & music lessons.... :|
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Ronald Binge
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:54 pm

Re: Rural based commuters

#8

Post by Ronald Binge »

It’s been a while since I was in my old stamping ground in f North Kildare - but the biggest flaw in any bus or coach route was always the approach to the city centre from Palmerstown onwards at peak. No matter how beautiful and toasty a roll in on a good coach is, it cannot beat the dedicated access to a terminal station railways have.
noplacehere
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2021 9:38 am

Re: Rural based commuters

#9

Post by noplacehere »

Proper, publicised, inexpensive park and rides at all stations and major bus town connections.

Look at match days and big events in Dublin. People have shown they are willing to drop the cars if they can get easily to where they are going by public transport (think drumcondra station for any game where everyone’s coming from the west). The problem at the moment is there’s not enough parking catered for at many many stations so those coming from the country can actually join the commuter lines. The commuter lines also don’t go far enough in many cases. Sligo line stops at maynooth but kilcock and Enfield are large and growing commuter towns too. Maynooth can’t cater for the parking for these people so they’ll just keep driving in the m4 when they can

For the one off users it’s expensive. Again look at maynooth, 4.50 a day parking (albeit cheaper for every day users). If I’m bringing a car load into Dublin say 2 adults, 2 kids, for a day trip then I can drive in and pay in the city for car parking as close to the location as I can get or I can pay 4.50 for parking plus the cost of tickets for everyone and have to deal with timetables etc and then still have to get in the car at the end of it all to drive home.

I really believe incentivising park and ride and publicising it heavily for all types of users (the one off shoppers as well as the daily commutes) it would make a difference
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Ronald Binge
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:54 pm

Re: Rural based commuters

#10

Post by Ronald Binge »

Plover1958 wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 10:37 am From the perspective of Rural based commuters, Park and ride are no great addition. Commuting isn't just bout getting to a match. If you're in a rural location having p&r somewhere is no help when you would be as quick just driving to your destination as driving to the p&r. There's more than ample parking at our nearest railway station but I'd be half way to Dublin on the motorway before I got on the train.
If I've driven a distance I'm not inclined to then park up and take a train for the last part of the journey, only to repeat the process in reverse on the way home.
What works against that for me is that travelling into the centre of Dublin adds at least an hour to the theoretical journey time, then paying for parking on top of that at ripoff rates. So, since I moved to Donegal some years ago I park up at M3 Parkway and get the train into town. No parking charges and my Leap gets me around.
artybike
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:05 pm

Re: Rural based commuters

#11

Post by artybike »

I took a day trip on the Western Rail Corridor down to Limerick on Saturday... the weather was stunning, the trains were at 55%-85% capacity. Mostly young people as I believe a weeks commuting from Athenry to Limerick, for example, for a student costs about €40 (less than renting) and it's easier to study on the train than the bus.

Meanwhile, what on earth is this story about the authenticity of the submissions for the County Development Plan about?


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Crusty Burke
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:41 pm

Re: Rural based commuters

#12

Post by Crusty Burke »

I suspect it's the use of pre printed postcards by the anti rail campaigners? I also see on FB there's a claim that something like 4,000 submissions were made from Ballyglunin. I expect with those numbers Q**** and M******* spent the summer teaching the local cattle to read and write...
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Ronald Binge
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:54 pm

Re: Rural based commuters

#13

Post by Ronald Binge »

4,000 postcards? So did they drop €4,400 on stamps in Ballyglunin PO alone?
artybike
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:05 pm

Re: Rural based commuters

#14

Post by artybike »

Excellent News....
The Wheels of Athenry, a cycle advocacy group, have secured funding to start developing cycling trails & infra around Athenry. Developing rural cycling is going to be quiet a challenge... Rural towns have been reaching out to each other in Galway (and beyond) to try to share with & support each other.

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