Adamstown: Better transport network needed to clear congestion

‘My estate is lovely ... the only problem really stems from infrastructure and traffic’

200 new homes are currently being built in Adamstown, Co. Dublin, after clearance and funding for construction has been granted. Olivia Kelly reports.

 

Ashleigh D’Arcy bought in the Paddocks development nine years ago, and has found living in Adamstown, Dublin, a largely positive experience, with one major exception.

“The houses are lovely, my estate is lovely, there’s very much a small-town atmosphere. The biggest problem, the only problem really, stems from infrastructure and traffic.”

Adamstown has a train station, with frequent services to the city centre, particularly at rush hour. Yet she says little thought seems to have been given to the residents’ actual daily journeys and destinations.

“I’m from Clondalkin, I work in City West, I can’t get a bus to either of them from Adamstown. I have to rely on a car for a 10-minute journey. When I purchased there was a bus, but that was stopped,” she says.

“The whole assumption seems to be that people from the Lucan area want to go into town. But the people living here are generally people working in the local area.”

The result is that a large proportion of residents are forced to use their cars, spilling daily onto the only main access currently available, the Newcastle Road.

“All the traffic, from everything that is being built here, is still going onto the Newcastle Road, an already overloaded road which can’t cope with the current levels of traffic.”

While €20 million in funding has been allocated for the Celbridge link road towards the back of Adamstown, which should ease local traffic somewhat, the real concern is the additional pressure the development of Clonburris would put on the Newcastle Road.

The unused Kishoge train station which was built in anticipation of future development near Adamstown and Clonburris. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
The unused Kishoge train station which was built in anticipation of future development near Adamstown and Clonburris. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Construction traffic

“Any attempt to put 8,000 or 9, 000 homes in there – and the construction traffic that goes with that – on the current infrastructure would be nothing but crazy. You’d be putting all the traffic from all those houses onto a road which wasn’t fit for purpose in the first place.”

It’s a concern echoed by local Fine Gael councillor William Lavelle.

“West Dublin is choked with traffic. An Bord Pleanála refused an extension to the Liffey Valley shopping centre early this year because of traffic,” he says.

“I expect for the majority of councillors the single biggest issue of credibility for Clonburris will be transport planning. It will be a very hard sell to councillors to persuade them that another 9,000 houses is a good idea.”

Mr Lavelle says he is supportive of the continued development of Adamstown, but doesn’t believe the current road infrastructure could cope with Clonburris, even if the currently closed train station at Kishoge is opened.

“If we develop Adamstown we will have done more than any other council in the country to respond to the housing crises. There is no point in building Clonburris if nobody is able to get out of it.”

Reliance

Senior council planner Brian Keaney concedes traffic is an issue for west Dublin.

“There’ll be 8,000 new homes in Clonburris, and that will generate traffic, there’s no two ways about it. But not just for Adamstown or Lucan – more broadly for the county as a whole. We cannot have the same reliance on the private motor car and continue that on into the future.”

The only solution would be to make public transport the most attraction option. “Orbital bus routes are the real missing link. Buses at the moment are just replicating the fixed rail routes instead of complementing them. If we got that cracked it would really open up the attractiveness to first-time buyers.”

For Sanjeeb Barik who bought his Adamstown home in 2009, his biggest concern has been the lack of community sports facilities.

“I bought directly from the builder, and he promised a lot of things, a community centre, and sports centre. They built lots of houses, but no sports facilities.”

In 2009 he joined the newly-formed Adamstown Cricket Club.“It was very small, just five or six guys. We had no ground, so we just went to Griffeen park and started playing.”

Grounds

Eventually the club was allocated a small area of land at Corkagh Park, south of Clondalkin, for its grounds. It has since grown to be be third largest cricket club in the country.

“We have 140-plus members, five senior league teams, four juniors and one development league. Every year we have founded a new cricket team there has been so much interest.”

However, he says facilities remain an issue. “We need a permanent pavilion with services like running water, electricity, tea-making and toilet facilities for home and away teams.”

A new Adamstown sport centre is due to open next year.