Low-cost Metro idea gets councillors going

by Gazette Reporter

Talk of a potential alternative to Metro North has spurred the interest of a number of local representatives in north Dublin this week.
This comes after several Dublin City councillors were briefed on an alternative and cheaper Dublin Metro proposal which could see some of the city’s more densely populated areas, including Swords and Malahide, being serviced by the potential transport option.
The pitch was made by transport planner Cormac Rabbitt of NUI Galway last week, who said the Metro was first proposed to the government in 2000 and could now be built in five simultaneous contracts in just two years. He said it would cost “about half the cost of Metro North”.
The proposal envisages 33 stations along a 53km network, 39km of which would see the new service utilising parallel tracks on existing routes. It would include the Phoenix Park tunnel, additional lines into the city from Blanchardstown and Hazelhatch, and links to exiting Luas and national and suburban railways.
Speaking to the Gazette, Independent Deputy Clare Daly welcomed the fact that the Metro was being discussed again.
“It is an absolute necessity for an area like Swords, which is so bereft of adequate public transport. I don’t believe that the alternative proposal fully accommodates much from a Swords’ perspective but I am glad to see the issue being discussed.”
Deputy Daly said that while she had not yet studied in detail the alternative Dublin Metro plan, she said there were “many viable plans out there”.
“It is not the case that they are too expensive to deliver, but rather the political will has not been put behind them. The reality is that the Metro plan for Swords, as originally devised, had massive support across the community and all sectors of society.
“It would be a sensible proposition economically for our government to invest in putting people to work to deliver it.”
Deputy Daly believes there will “never be a better time” with the amount of skilled workers in dole queues.
“Putting people to work saves the Exchequer money, in terms of social welfare payments and the taxation generated by their employment.”
Deputy Brendan Ryan (Lab) noted that Swords was the third-most populated town in Ireland but the only town in the top 15 which is not serviced by a rail line.
“It is a prerequisite for me that Swords be central to any future light rail plans for Fingal. I was interested to read about the [alternative Dublin Metro proposal] and would be very interested if [it was presented] to the councillors and TDs in Fingal. I believe the desire for a quick, clean and efficient rail link from Swords into Dublin city centre is one which garners support from all public representatives on all sides,” he said.

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