Revised light-rail plan welcomed amid calls for Metro West link

by Padraig Conlon

A Metro West light-rail project must now be seriously considered, according to Sinn Fein Cllr Paul Donnelly.

Cllr Donnelly has called for the Government to consider bringing forward its plans now that Metro South is not going ahead.

He said: “Dublin West has a growing population and faces increasing strains on its limited public transport infrastructure.

“It makes sense to me that Metro South is being shelved and that consideration must be given to proceeding with the Metro West project.”

Sinn Fein has written to Transport Minister Shane Ross calling for the line – first mooted by then Transport Minister Noel Dempsey in 2007 – linking Tallaght and Blanchardstown to Dublin Airport to be put back on the table.

Meanwhile, Senator James Reilly (FG) has welcomed the revised MetroLink route, which he says will be a “game-changer” for Fingal.

The local authority’s plans for the development of large tracts of residential and industrial land around Swords hinge on Metro plans, and if the two are delivered in tandem it could create up to 18,000 new jobs and provide 3,000 housing units.

Senator Reilly said: “Four significant master plans for 165 acres in Swords have gone on public display, synchronised with the announcement of the MetroLink project.

“These plans include 218,000sq m of office space, just 10 minutes from Dublin Airport.

“That’s 55 acres of office buildings in a very central location in Swords and is a very attractive proposition for major foreign investment companies looking for large-scale office space capable of holding 1,000 employees and upwards.”

Fingal County Council also welcomed last week’s announcement on the preferred route, but stressed the importance of delivering the project by 2027.

Its chief executive, Paul Reid, warned: “Fingal is the top county from which workers flow into Dublin city and 72% of those journeys are made by car.

“The longer we go without a Metro system, the longer the roads into and out of Dublin city will remain clogged up, and that will inhibit the development of Fingal.”

Transport chiefs have refused to put a cost on the revised project, which was originally planned to have two tunnels stretching 26km from Swords to Sandyford in the south and at a cost of €3 billion.

But the new preferred route will now have only one 19km tunnel, ending at Charlemont.

Other changes include plans to run it below road level along the Swords bypass, rather than on an elevated track, as well as locating the train storage depot at Dardistown instead of the estuary.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland will host a public information day on MetroLink at Fingal County Council’s offices in Swords on Tuesday, April 16 from 2-8pm.

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