4.1 FUTURE DEVELOPMENT AND POPULATION GROWTH OF MONASTEREVIN
The population of Monasterevin according to the 1996 Census was 2,842 persons. The current figure is in excess of this, approximately 3,000. The target figure in the Kildare County Development Plan is 3,500 by 2006. The current and projected private housing developments will result in an increase of 25% to 40% in population within the time frame. This complements Kildare County Council policy to promote development to the south and centre of the county.
As Monasterevin is located on the borders of Counties Laois and Offaly, a considerable number of passengers availing of the rail service will come from the areas within those counties adjacent to the boundaries.
4.2 THE BENEFITS OF A RAILWAY STATION TO MONASTEREVIN
· A railway service would accelerate the development of Monasterevin as a commuter town. It would stimulate further growth in business and industry. Tourism would also develop, as the railway station is adjacent to the network of waterways and the park in the town.
· As a town within the commuter belt, the population of Monasterevin will expand. The town is already equipped with schools and social facilities to cater for a larger population. The upgrading of the water scheme (1999) and the sewerage system (2000) will enable extensive development to occur.
· The railway station would allow for a more balanced development of the town. It could become the focal point for redevelopment of a neglected end of Monasterevin and in so doing reduce congestion on the Dublin Road.
· It would encourage residents to commute without the need for a second family car. This is in line with all transport policies, and would reduce the pressure on the roads.
· Commuting time to Dublin would be reduced to 40/45 minutes. This is a marked improvement and would increase passenger usage and population increases for the town.
· The disadvantaged people of Monasterevin and surrounding area would experience a greater level of social inclusion as a result of accessibility to the rail network becoming available to them, thereby providing them with greater mobility.
4.3 SURVEY FINDINGS
The survey carried out by Action South Kildare Ltd. demonstrates that,
· That there are approximately 270 city bound commuters travelling from Monasterevin on a daily basis. Of those surveyed 95% would use the railway station.
· Taking a conservative estimate from the population there would be a total of 315 daily train users.
· From 24 businesses surveyed 112 people travel to work in Monasterevin, who could avail of the reopened station
· A minimum of 16 new jobs would result from the reopening of the station.
· There is no valid reason not to recommission the Railway Station.
This survey justifies the reopening of Monasterevin Railway Station.
The committee and the people of Monasterevin ask for a commitment from the Government and Iarnroid Eireann for the reopening of our station within an agreed time scale.