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  • Northside West

Metrolink delay fears

Tuesday, 5th February, 2019 8:00am
Metrolink delay fears
Metrolink delay fears

TWO Northside Fine Gael TDs are calling for the Metrolink project to be separated into two phases to avoid delays that could emerge on the Southside.

Dublin Fingal deputy Alan Farrell and Dublin North West representative Noel Rock want priority given to development of the rail link on this side of the Liffey.

While the project has caused issues on the Northside, most noticeably over plans to use sports grounds at Na Fianna and Home Farm as tunnel depots, proposed road closures in Ranelagh-Rathmines and arguments over where the underground section ends have irked Southsiders.

The FG TDs last week called for the project to be divided into north and south phases to ensure the project moves on as quickly as possible.

However, their pleas have so far fallen on deaf ears as Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, quickly poured cold water on the suggestion

The TDs told Minister Ross they believe dividing the project into two phases would mean work could begin on the Northside, giving time for the arguably more contentious Southside issues to be ironed out.

“The Metro project to link the city centre to north Dublin will provide an integral link between communities in Ballymun and Santry with the city centre,” said Deputy Rock.

“The Southside squabble should not be allowed to derail this project.

“The fact is that the Northside has significantly less transport infrastructure, particularly in terms of rail links compared to the south of the city.

“The possibility of issues with the planned route from the city to Sandyford delaying delivery of Metro to Dublin North West, and on to the airport is wholly unacceptable.

Deputy Rock called for the northbound phase of the Metro project to be separated from the southbound phase to allow for its delivery as soon as possible.

“This is of the utmost importance for local residents in Ballymun, Santry and surrounding communities,” he added.

“Separating this project into two distinct phases would be a recognition of the need for greater public transport infrastructure for the north side, and would work to bring such infrastructure on par with the south side.

“The needs of north Dublin cannot, and must not, be forgotten or pushed aside when it comes to the delivery of Metro.”

Deputy Farrell also believes developing the rail link to the airport is badly needed to support both commuters and airport passengers.

“It is essential that a rail link is established to the airport from the city centre, particularly to support those who commute every day for work or education, and for the benefit of the 31 million passengers who use Dublin Airport,” he said.

“Any delay in the provision of Metro to Swords and Dublin Airport due to difficulties with the Southside route selection would be wholly unacceptable.

“The transport infrastructure the people of north Dublin, and the growing Swords community both require and deserve must be delivered.”

However, speaking in the Dáil last week, Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, wouldn’t be drawn on the proposal and pointed out that NTA had already considered thousands of public submissions on the preferred route.

“I am happy to inform the house that a further round of public consultation will take place shortly on this preferred route," he added.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here