New Metro North hopes derailed by Shane Ross

by Emma Nolan

THERE was much excitement this week with news that Dublin’s Metro North may be on track sooner than expected – however, The Gazette can reveal that this is unlikely to happen.
The Government announced this week they were planning to speed up construction of the highly-
anticipated airport rail line by a full two years.
Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said the Government was reviewing its five-year programme for Capital Investment, claiming there was €2.6 billion in funding that hadn’t yet been allocated to a specific project. Metro North had been included in the 2015 Capital programme and was due to be completed in 2026 or 2027, with construction beginning in 2021.
There was hope that this would now be brought forward to 2019.
However, speaking to The Gazette, Transport Minister Shane Ross dismissed these claims. He said: “Unfortunately, there is little scope to accelerate the project and sadly not by the two years mentioned in the [capital investment] report.”
Minister Ross said his department is still looking at construction commencing in 2021, adding: “It would not be possible to accelerate that to 2019, in view of the significant body of work that must be done in terms of planning et cetera and the timeframes required for consultation.”

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