Dart extension a ‘game-changer’ for North County Dublin – Cuffe

by Gazette Reporter
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Dublin MEP Ciarán Cuffe has described a planned extension of the DART line to Drogheda as a “game-changer” for households in North County Dublin.

The DART Coastal North project, due to begin construction by 2026, is set to double the frequency of trains between Drogheda and Dublin city centre. 

Speaking about his submission to the public consultation on the upgrade, Cuffe said: “Fingal is one of the fastest growing counties in Ireland. If we want that growth to be sustainable, we will need more high quality public transport options like this. At the moment, if you’re living in Balbriggan or even Donabate and you want to get into the city, your only option is to get in your car and trundle up the M1 to look for parking in the city centre. That’s bad for Dubliners, and it’s bad for the environment. The DART+ project is going to change that.

MEP Cuffe added that measures to avoid reliance on a shuttle service from Howth to Howth Junction/Donaghmede should be taken as far as possible, and emphasised that any shuttle service should be in addition to, rather than instead of, a direct line to or from Dublin City. 

Referring to planned improvements at the busy Howth Junction/Donaghmede station, which will host a new shuttle service to Howth station under the proposal, he suggested that a station attendant could provide assistance to vulnerable passengers during operating hours. 

He continued: “Upgrades to Howth Junction Station should prioritise passenger comfort and accessibility and should facilitate the smooth passage of large numbers of commuters from one platform to another… New lifts should be sufficient in size to contain two bicycles or a large motorised wheelchair.”

Cuffe also advised that improvements along the line should go beyond increases in rail frequency. This could include a survey of station amenities such as information displays, seating, rain cover and bathroom facilities to inform potential upgrades.

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