New interchange approved for Limerick

 

A MODERN two-storey bus station is to built at Parnell Street within two years which will bring the terminus “up to the 21st century” according to a report in The Limerick Leader.
An Bord Pleanala has granted planning permission for the €5.5million redevelopment of Colbert Station, which was was originally refused by Limerick City Council.
According to the Limerick Leader article, the plans will see a new bus station built at the current car parking area to the side of the existing station building. New car parking facilities will be developed where the bus bays are currently.

A landscape garden is planned for the carpark at the front of the station. An internal walkway will also connect the rail and bus station, providing greater ease of access for passengers.

Ballinteer to Ilfracombe (via Palmerston Park)

Earlier this month I needed to travel to the North Devon town of Ilfracombe for a part-business part-pleasure weekend, and as is my normal preference, I elected to do this entirely by public transport, including the airport leg in Dublin.

For the first part of the journey I would be accompanied by “Donnybrook Observer” who was also flying that morning, while for the final leg of the tip I would be guided by an old friend and former Ensignbus colleague, John Burch, now Deputy Director of the Confederation of Passenger Transport in the UK, who had invited me to stay in his charming Ilfracome property, itself the former station master’s house of the long abandoned Ilfracombe branch line.

Taking the absolute minimum of baggage with me, and using only a Nokia camera-phone, I aimed to record as much of the trip and the various modes of transport seen and used as possible.

All these photos are available in fullsize mode – just click on the picture for the bigger view!

Setting off from Ballinteer on the 0900 14A

Setting off from Ballinteer on the 0900 14A

With our flights due to depart Dublin around midday, Donnybrook Observer and I decided to leave Ballinteer at around 9am, choosing the 0900 14A departure, so that we could get to sample the “via Palmerston Park” special working.

This diversion is less needed now that the 128 provides a regular service in the area, but when we arrived at Palmerston Park, the 128 at the stop was not yet loading, and so we took on around 15 of its potential passengers. Our bus was Volvo Olympian RV483, and was quite full by the time it reached Rathmines.

The diversion via Palmerston Park allowed us to steal some customers from a waiting 128.

The diversion via Palmerston Park allowed us to steal some customers from a waiting 128

RV483 drops off at O'Connell Street, stage 1 of the journey over.

RV483 drops off at O'Connell Street, stage 1 of the journey over.

The early morning sun made photography of both the 14A, and the next leg of our trip on the Airlink Express difficult, as it was both bright and directly behind the buses in O’Connell Street. The shot of RV483 is interesting, in the the Spire is visible over the bus, but not through the windows, making it look as if the entire weight is being supported by the roof of the bus. This optical effect is caused by a high level of reflection on the condensation on the inside of the bus windows.

Arriving at Dublin Airport on the Airlink Express. 8 year old AV125 and its sisters will be replaced on this service by new Wright Geminis in the new year.

Arriving at Dublin Airport on the Airlink Express. 8 year old AV125 and its sisters will be replaced on this service by new Wright Geminis in the new year.

Arriving at Dublin Airport in good time, DO’s flight was without problems, but I was faced with a long wait for the FlyBe Exeter service, as the plane had been delayed for 3 hours earlier in the day due to a security alert at Paris.

The FlyBe Bombardier finally arrives at Dublin

The FlyBe Bombardier finally arrives at Dublin

The FlyBe Bombardier eventually arrived, and the flight to Exeter was uneventful. The arrival in Exeter International was in the middle of a downpour, and I sheltered in the tiny terminal building for 20 minutes until the Stagecoach service arrived to take me to the city centre. Bus waiting facilities are poor, and boarding involved a dash across windswept roadways in the pouring rain.

Arriving at Exeter International in a torrential downpour, it's time to make a dash for the Stagecoach

Arriving at Exeter International in a torrential downpour, it's time to make a dash for the Stagecoach

The Airport service seems to be worked by ALX200 bodied Dennis Darts.

Stagecoach service 55 arrives into Exeter Bus Station

Stagecoach service 56 arrives into Exeter Bus Station

In Exeter, a selection of buses in the bus station and city centre.

Stagecoach Enviro 400s can be seen working a number of Devon services

Stagecoach Enviro 400s can be seen working a number of Devon service

Olympians are also still in evidence, retrofitted with modern LED displays

Olympians are also still in evidence, retrofitted with modern LED display

Independents Western Greyhound and Dartline add variety at Exeter.

Independents Western Greyhound and Dartline add variety at Exeter

Amongst the earliest lowfloor double-deckers into service, a batch of S-reg Trident ALX400s new to East London, now working on park and ride services in Exeter. The yellow and blue livery looks attractive.

Amongst the earliest lowfloor double-deckers into service, a batch of S-reg Trident ALX400s new to East London, now working on park and ride services in Exeter. The yellow and blue livery looks attractive

In Exeter city centre, buses on local town services. Routes are lettered rather than numbered, a practice dating back many decades to the long vanished municipal operator.

In Exeter city centre, buses on local town services. Routes are lettered rather than numbered, a practice dating back many decades to the long vanished municipal operator.

The next part of the journey was by rail – a walk to Exeter Central station to meet John Burch, who was arriving in from London on a Stagecoach SouthWest Trains service, and then we would take the local “Tarka Line” First service to Barnstaple.

I was amazed to see that there were lots of Leyland-National derived class 142 units still in service – the last time I encountered one of these strange beasts was at Goole in Yorkshire, almost 14 years ago!

Exeter Central station, with a class 142 unit heading west.

Exeter Central station, with a class 142 unit heading west

142067 at Barnstaple, showing the Leyland National body styling and bus-type doors and seating.

142067 at Barnstaple, showing the Leyland National body styling and bus-type doors and seating.

Arriving in Barnstaple, we had a walk to the town centre and time for a drink before boarding the bus for the final leg to Ilfracombe. John used his local knowledge to ensure that the bus trip was interesting – instead of taking the main Ilfracombe service on route 3, we took the Fridays Only 30E service, which takes a more direct but remote routing along tiny hilly laneways eventually approaching Ilfracombe and the Bristol Channel over the crest of a dramatic hill, giving a view of the lights of Wales far across the dark waters.

Heading along dark country lanes on the 30E.

Heading along dark country lanes on the 30E.

We arrived at John’s house at 2100 – 12 hours exactly sice the 14A started my journey.

Also included below are a couple of shots taken the following day around Ilfracombe. I did try to get the local independent Filers, but they were elusive on the day! However the holiday camp buses were a real find, with thanks to John for his local knowledge!

Ilfracombe Bus Station with a Firstgroup Olympian on the main Barnstaple service.

Ilfracombe Bus Station with a Firstgroup Olympian on the main Barnstaple service

Two vanishing bus types, a Bristol VRT and a very elderly E-reg Atlantean PDR1A at the local holiday camp.

Two vanishing bus types, a Bristol VRT and a very elderly E-reg Atlantean PDR1A at the local holiday camp.

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.

Minister Dempsey on 2009 Transport Spending

AllAboutBuses.com)

Transport Minister Noel Dempsey (photo: AllAboutBuses.com)

GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASE
Ministers announce €3.6 billion for Transport (Budget 2009)
  • €1.27 billion on improved Public Transport
  • €2.1 billion on National, Regional and Local Roads
  • €40 million on Road Safety
  • €35m for Aviation Sector and development of Regional Airports
  • €48 million for improved activities of Coast Guard and Maritime Safety
Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey TD, today outlined plans for a €3.6 billion investment package in transport for the coming year following the publication of Budget 2009.
Speaking today Minister Dempsey said; “The €3.6 billion in this year’s transport budget underlines the Government’s continued commitment to investing in key transport infrastructure projects. A word class transport infrastructure is critical to our economy’s competitiveness. This funding will allow me to continue rolling out Transport 21 projects such as Metro North and the new Dart Interconnector, both of which will provide the backbone of an integrated public transport system for Dublin.

With this funding I aim to progress a variety of Transport 21 projects particularly in the area of public transport. Next year I also intend to continue rolling out our major interurban motorways which are now nearing completion.”
Speaking today, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Mr. Noel Ahern TD said; “A total of almost €40 million is being provided by this Government for road safety initiatives in 2009. This level of funding for the Road Safety Authority and the Medical Bureau of Road Safety will solidify the key role these organisations play in implementing the Road Safety Strategy. During the period 1997-2007 for example, we have seen deaths of our roads drop by 30% so this funding will help to augment this welcome downward trend.
The allocation of €48 million to maritime transport and safety will allow us to improve and modernise the Irish Coast Guard and continue to invest in maritime safety.”
The main transport programmes that Budget ‘09 provides for are as follows:
Public Transport – €1.27 billion
This will enable progress on a wide range of projects, including:
  • Luas extensions to Cherrywood, Docklands and Citywest;
  • Planning and enabling works on Metro North;
  • Planning works for the DART Interconnector.
  • Improved bus priority measures in Dublin and the regional cities;
  • The completion of the Middleton rail line
  • Phase 1 of the Western Rail Corridor from Ennis to Athenry;
  • The construction of the Kildare Route project
  • Phase 1 of the Navan rail line;
  • The continuation of Iarnród Éireann’s railway safety programme;
  • The start of the Dublin city centre rail re-signalling programme;
  • Continued roll-out of new railcars on the intercity routes;
Other notable projects that will be continued into 2009 are:
  • The Rural Transport Programme (now operating in every county and will provide more than million passenger journeys in 2009)
  • The Green Schools Programme (targeting 140,000 school kids by providing walking/cycling/public transport alternatives to get to school).
Roads – €2.1 billion
Key national routes will be progressed as planned, specifically:
  • The major inter urban motorway connecting Dublin with Waterford
  • The major inter urban motorway connecting Dublin with Galway
  • The major inter urban motorway connecting Dublin with Limerick
  • The major inter urban motorway connecting Dublin with Cork
  • A dual carriageway road within Northern Ireland transforming access to the North West of the Island.
  • The Atlantic Road corridor
  • The M50 upgrade will be completed.
Over €600 million is being made available to local authorities throughout the country for the upgrade and maintenance of regional and local roads.
Road Safety – €40 million
This funding will be aimed at maintaining the downward trend in road deaths. Deaths on Irish roads have dropped by 30 per cent in the period from 1997 to 2007.
Maritime Transport and Safety – €48 million
This allocation will allow us to improve and modernise the Irish Coast Guard and maritime safety to meet the needs of a 21st century maritime nation.
Regional Airports/Aviation Sector – € 35 million
The Department has made provisions to meet contractual commitments on the various regional airport projects and our share of the cost of the City of Derry Airport development.