‘Don’t destroy our green area with MetroLink route’ say Swords residents

by Sylvia Pownall

Residents in Swords are urging MetroLink planners not to run a track through Ashley estate as they say it would destroy their only green area.

Scores of submissions have been lodged objecting to the move, and an online petition calling for a rethink has garnered hundreds of signatures.

Locals are opposed to plans for an overground track and are instead calling for an underground tunnel – avoiding surface ventilation or emissions – to alleviate their concerns.

They are also calling for the estate’s boundary wall to be raised to minimise disruption during construction and for the green area to be restored afterwards.

Deputy Darragh O’Brien (FF) is backing their campaign along with local Cllrs Darragh Butler and Adrian Henchy.

In a joint submission they argue: “Ashley residents are fully supportive of the MetroLink project but they do not wish to lose their green open space when there are alternatives that would allow it to be saved.

“If the route can be moved slightly to the west … this should allow for the green open space to be saved and returned to its former glory once construction works have been completed.

“There were also concerns expressed regarding the ventilation shafts and requests for these to be moved further away from residential properties.

“Noise abatement measures should also be considered for this location and all residential areas along the MetroLink route.”

The light-rail network is key to the future growth and economic development of Fingal with Swords set to expand to a population of 100,000 people by 2040.

However, a number of issues have been raised locally regarding the revised route and its potential impact on the Balheary pitches, Balheary bridge, North Street junction and roundabouts at Seatown and the Malahide Road.

Several people have also raised the need for a public bike scheme to allow access to MetroLink without the need to drive and use the park-and-ride facility.

Residents in Ashley say they have “serious concerns” over the level of noise, dust and dirt during construction and have requested full consultation before works get under way.

They also warn that increased traffic levels may result in motorists being unable to enter and exit the estate during rush hour.

Outlining concerns regarding the park and ride facility, a spokesperson said: “We feel that the volumes being allowed for fall way short of what any reasonable person may expect … we feel our neighbourhood may end up as the unofficial overflow car park.”

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