'Nothing letter' from Irish Rail on over parking at Ballybrophy station

Irish Rail admitt to parking problems at Laois station

'Nothing letter' from Irish Rail on over parking at Ballybrophy station
By Conor Ganly conor.ganly@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

‘A long letter about nothing’ is how a Laois councillor dismissed a communication from Irish Rail which gave no firm commitment to increase car parking Ballybrophy train station.

Cllr John King was responding to a letter from the train company’s boss on a call to tackle car parking shortages at the south Laois station.

Donal Brennan, Director of Services at Laois County Council, wrote to Irish Rail in ’September on foot of a demand from action from Cllr King and other councillors.

In his reply Mr David Franks, Chief Executive of the company accepted that there are problems.

“I acknowledge that there is a congestion problem at Ballybrophy car park and that the overflow from the car park is accommodated on the road on the approach to the station,” he wrote.

He said car parking is a problem at stations in several areas of the country and Irish Rail has a programme to tackle this.

“I can confirm that Ballybrophy station is identified as a potential project in the programme.

“It should however be noted that there has been very limited capital investment funding for station car parking in recent years and therefore the funding has to be allocated on a priority basis.

“The capital investment programme for 2017 and beyond has not yet been determined and therefore we are not in a position to forecast when we can initiate the process of determining a solution, assessing the business case and designing and implementing any works,” said the letter which was read to to councillors at the Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal District Meeting.

“A long letter about nothing” responded Cllr King. “This is a major and ongoing problem. Householders are offering their own yards as car parks”.

He wanted to know who would be responsible if there was a serious incident caused by the parking problem.

The director of service Mr Brennan said the acceptance by Irish Rail of a shortage of spaces should at least be acknowledged as a positive.