RPA Tenders Structural surveys for LUAS A1 Citywest/Saggart branch

 

The long-awaited building of the spur from the LUAS Red Line, linking the existing line to Citywest and Saggart is coming closer, with the announcment by the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) that they are seeking qualified consultants to perform structural survey work on properties bordering the new line.

The go ahead to construct the line depends on the finalising of a Railway Order, but work such as the surveying can go ahead in the meantime, and starting this process now will reduce the pre-construction wait after the order is granted.

Full details of the RPA tender are below.

 

Title: Luas A1_170 Structural Condition Surveys
Published by: Railway Procurement Agency
Publication Date: 24/10/2008
Application Deadline: 07/11/2008
Notice Deadline Date: 07/11/2008
Notice Deadline Time: 12:00
Notice Type: Tender
Has Documents: Yes
Abstract: RPA now seeks the services of an experienced structural engineering consultant to carry out structural condition surveys of buildings and structures along the Luas line A1 boundary.

Line A1 is a 4.2 km proposed spur to the existing Luas Red Line currently operating between Tallaght and Connolly Station. RPA completed its pre-application consultations with An Bord Pleanála in August 2007 in relation to the proposed line and has submitted a Railway Order Application in December 2007. Following the display period of the draft Railway Order Application, an Oral Hearing was held on the 11 March 2008 in An Bord Pleanála Offices, Marlborough Street and was concluded in one day. The Railway Order, if granted by An Bord Pleanála, will provide the powers necessary to construct, operate and maintain the line, subject to funding confirmation.

Luas Line A1 is the first RPA project for which a Railway Order will be sought under the new statutory framework introduced by the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006

It is RPA’s intention to ensure that all existing buildings / structures and boundaries that may be affected by the Light Rail Works are protected from damage due to these Works. In order to determine the condition of existing buildings / structures and boundaries a condition survey will be carried out along the length of the line.

RPA now seeks the services of an experienced structural engineering consultant to carry out these structural condition surveys.

The Invisible Bus

Government just can’t see the bus as a transport alternative, and often, neither can the travelling public, even if it’s right beside them.

There is quite a debate over on Garaiste at the moment about bus-v-tram choices, especially on the corridor from Heuston station to the city centre. The thrust is that both officials, and often the travelling public themselves, often ignore the bus as a viable alternative for travel.

The picture above (click on it for fullsize version) was taken by me one morning at Heuston, when disruption to the Red LUAS line was causing long gaps in service. Passengers were crowding the platform and had been waiting for nearly 20 minutes, with no sign of a tram coming, and yet buses on the 90, 91 and 92 routes were coming and going behind them almost empty.

Look at the picture closely. See how intently the people are peering up the track, anxiously waiting to see if a tram will appear in the distance. if only there were some other way for them to get into town . . .

I actually submitted this photo to a display at a photo club at work, with the caption “It’s Behind You!!”

There is talk of the bus services duplicating the Red Line from Heuston being cut back, which would be a great pity, because it is always good to have an alternative.

The bus does seem to be almost invisible in the minds of the casual travelling public. I was listening recently to someone who works in a business in Loughlinstown advising someone how to get there from Bray.

“There is no public transport link, so you’ll have to take the DART to Shankill and get a taxi from there” they were told . . .

No mention of the 45, 145, 84 which between them provide direct links from most parts of Bray to outside the door of this business, and which provide a combined frequency of less than 10 minutes from the centre of Bray.

Likewise the oft-heard claim that “there is no public transport link to Citywest” when in fact the business park is linked by more than half a dozen bus routes, including city centre services, local routes, commuter services from Co. Kildare, and LUAS shuttles, operated by a number of different companies.

The bus can be a great transport workhorse, and a vital backup to rail services during times of disruption, but we have to think of a way of opening people’s eyes to the services that are already there.

Any ideas?