Controversy over new €150m Sword bus link

by Gazette Reporter
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POTENTIAL plans for a new rapid bus route in Swords could cause some controversy in the area, according to a local representative.
If it goes ahead, the proposed new bus route for Swords would cost between €150m and €200m to develop, and the service would transport commuters from Swords and Dublin Airport to Dublin City Centre in just 35 minutes.
The Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) is set to be called “Swiftbus” and will service up to 3,600 passengers per hour.
However, according to Cllr Tom Kelleher (Lab), the new route could present a number of challenges locally, including the development of a road across a local park.
He said: “The residents of Castlegrange, Castlefarm, Broadmeadows, Mooretown and Pinegrove will certainly have their say.
“While the possibility of an improved bus system will be welcomed, there will most certainly be opposition to the National Transport Authority (NTA) plan to construct a road across the park and to continue along a road at Pinegrove that was closed after a long and bitter campaign.
“If ever a plan called for genuine public consultation, this is it,” he said.
Other councillors in the area welcomed the news, highlighting their relief that the service would not be considered a substitute for Metro North.
Speaking to The Gazette, Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) said: “We were told by the NTA that this is categorically not intended to be a replacement to Metro North.
“This is intended as an initial solution in advance of Metro North and that Metro North is still the long-term solution.”
Cllr Tom O’Leary (FG) said he also welcomed the clarification by officials from the NTA that Metro North or a similar project is still required for the current and future development of Fingal.
He said: “The journey time of 35 minutes compared to the current time of 64 minutes is a dramatic improvement, and compares well to the Swords Express, which takes 25 minutes.”
A public consultation is set to commence on February 17 and, if approved in early 2015, the project is expected to take approximately two and a half years to be completed.

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