New Metro changes a cynical exercise

19 February 2018

Statement by Joe Costello

Labour spokesperson on Urban regeneration Joe Costello has described the latest changes to the Metro North link as a cynical exercise that highlights how little extra investment is being provided for Dublin city in the Ireland 2040 plan.

Mr Costello said:

"Many of the public transport plans for Dublin outlined in the National Planning Framework and the National Development Plan are pie in the sky, purely aspirational and will never be implemented.

"The Metro North has now inexplicably morphed into a cross city line. It will now cross the Liffey and travel all the way to Sandyford where there is an existing Luas line. That makes no sense. It simply means that the original project started fifteen years ago and mothballed after the spending of €50 million will cost an extra billion euro. The starting date has already been announced by the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohue, as 2021. This is well after the next election and the completion date is estimated optimistically at 2027!

"At the same time Dublin airport is exploding with flight traffic, having carried 29 million passengers last year while roads into the city centre are heavily congested.

"Quite rightly the Government now proposes to build a second run way at the airport. This will cost €320 million. But most importantly it is due to open in 2021- at the same time as the Metro is due to start construction!

"Thus, Dublin airport will have no proper public transport to the city centre until 2027 at the earliest.

"Already the congestion on the Drumcondra Rd is immense and all the arteries into the city centre from the Northside are clogged with traffic.

"A ten- year aspirational Metro is not good enough. Clearly this Framework and Development plan has not been thought through.

"There is a possible solution: the recently- completed Cross City Luas line to Broombridge which was completed last December, 2017 at a cost of €368 million could and should be extended to the Airport. It could be completed at a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time required for the new Metro.

"However, there are no plans to do this. It is a case of live horse and you will get grass.

"The people of the Northside of Dublin will inevitably view the present Metro announcement as a cynical exercise."