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26th March 2019 | Transport

Putting MetroLink south on the long finger is the wrong decision: Greens

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Ciarán Cuffe the Green Party’s Transport Spokesperson said:

 “Today’s announcement is a body blow to those who want a dramatic improvement in public transport in Dublin. Putting half of the MetroLink on the long finger is the wrong decision. This project should be the spine along which the city can develop over the next fifty years.

“If we are serious about tackling climate change we need MetroLink now, as well as other key projects that have been put on the back-burner. This includes the following:

  • Substantial investments in walking and cycling infrastructure
  • DART Underground from Docklands to West Dublin
  • Reconsideration of MetroWest
  • Electrification of commuter rail lines
  • Luas Green line northward extensions to Finglas/M50
  • Luas Green line southward extensions to Shankill and Bray
  • Luas Red line extension to the Poolbeg peninsula

“If we were to invest similar amounts that have been put into road schemes in the Dublin Region into public transport we would be well placed to give people an alternative to the car. However, the time to invest is now, rather that long-fingering key investment decisions.

“It is disappointing that homes in the College Gate apartment complex, as well as the Markievicz Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre, are proposed for demolition. It is crucial that a new city centre Council-owned  Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool is provided prior to the closure of the existing facility, and that residents are offered alternative accommodation nearby.”

Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD added:

“We need the MetroLink project to be built as soon as possible and for it to include a south side section from the start.   The National Transport Authority (NTA) says integrating Metro on the Luas Green Line would involve a two year closure of that line and that they will not now proceed with that extension.  We don’t believe delaying its progress for twenty more years is a viable option.

“We questioned the Taoiseach on the issue in the Dáil today and welcomed his response that we should look at alternative options such as connecting the line via UCD and Sandyford.  That route would connect areas with high transport demand and also provide future capacity on the Green line without requiring any closures.’

“We have to assess these alternatives without delaying the wider project.  This will require the Government to give a clear direction about our policy priorities. Such a variation is a valid part of the public consultation process. We need to be ambitious but also deliver solutions that are practical and fit for the future.  Amending the south side alignment is the best solution.  We will be working with all the parties to make it a reality.”