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North County Dublin has waited long enough for Metrolink

12 February 2019

Statement by Brendan Ryan TD
Party Whip, Spokesperson on Defence

Labour Deputy for Dublin Fingal, Brendan Ryan TD today raised with the Minister for Transport the need for the Metrolink development to be fast-tracked. Deputy Ryan raised the urgent need for an affordable light rail for North County Dublin. The Northside has waiting long enough to be served by a light rail line comparable to the service on the Southside of the Dublin City.

Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Ryan said:

"Proceeding with the Metrolink project as planned is of utmost importance to my constituents and the entire city of Dublin. An affordable light rail link will not only reduce traffic from Swords to the city centre, but the rail will also allow residents to commute quickly, cheaply and sustainably.

"The construction of a North sideline must be a priority.

"It has been promised to my constituents for many years and increasing the public transportation options in the area will improve many of their lives immensely. Although there have been many complaints that the metro link is not needed where the Green Luas line already runs, I would like to emphasize that this sentiment is not shared by residents on the Northside who desperately want a rail system built to connect them to the capital.

"Metrolink should revise the current project plans and divide the construction into two phases. That way the Northside construction can proceed as scheduled, unaffected by the delay caused by protesting residents in the Southside.
"There is a massive infrastructure deficit on the M1 Corridor with traffic bumper to bumper on a good morning. This is adversely affecting all bus routes, including express services which can’t but avoid the congestion. On a bad morning, if there is a breakdown or an accident everything on the M1 just grinds to a halt.

"The Metrolink is the best solution to this problem because it will reduce traffic on the roads, while also quickly moving more people to the airport, Mater Hospital, and Dublin City Centre.
"Reduced traffic leads to less road traffic accidents and faster commute times. The construction of a new rail line will allow for local small businesses to grow, along with the potential development of a new tourism sector. As Swords is the closest town to the airport, it could be a popular stay-over location for tourists if there is an easy access rail line for them to use. Metrolink will provide residents with greater job opportunities because those without cars will no longer only be restricted to the areas covered by the current bus routes.

"We in Fingal have been excessively patient on this project. Northside Metrolink should not be further delayed due to opposition to the Southside alignment. The Southside already has a Luas line and is relatively well served. A cynic would say the project is almost designed to fail if these Southside objections are allowed to delay the project even further.

"Minister, please fast track the northern alignment. It is so badly needed. Enough analysis has been done on the Swords to City Centre route to move that element forward. The solution is to divide the project into two phases and get on with the Northern Phase.

"I note the CEO of FCC also expressed frustration on this matter last evening."