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By Chamber Press Office, 09 December 2017
The opening today of the Luas Cross City extension to the Green Line is a ‘very welcome early Christmas present for Dublin’, according to Dublin Chamber.
The Chamber has been one of the main proponents of the €368m Luas Cross City project, which will commence passenger services from 2pm on Saturday afternoon and ultimately faciliate up to 10 million journeys per annum.
The Chamber predicted that the opening of the new line comes as a major boost for city centre retailers ahead of the crucial festive period and also for 2018 and beyond.
According to Dublin Chamber's Head of Public Affairs Graeme McQueen: "It has been a long 5 years for businesses in the city centre, but it is fantastic to see the line open on-time and in advance of Christmas. The opening of Luas Cross City provides shops and businesses in the city with a huge boost. City centre businesses - and users of the city - have been extremely understanding during the construction works. Businesses have always seen the Luas Cross City construction as a case of short-term pain for long-term gain, with the city and its people set to reap the benefits for decades and generations to come.”
Dublin Chamber commended all parties involved with Luas Cross City for delivering the project on schedule and within budget - particularly the National Transport Authority, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the trio of An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Finance, Expenditure and Public Reform Paschal Donohoe, and Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport - all of whom have served as Minister for Transport during the Luas Cross City construction phase.
Mr McQueen said: "Throughout the construction phase of the project, we have worked closely with Luas Cross City, the NTA, Gardai and other stakeholders to minimise the impact of the works on businesses and people coming in and out of the city. Luas Cross City shows how well Ireland can deliver big projects.When work commenced in June 2013 there were fears of carnage in the city centre. Thankfully those issues never materialised.
"The success of the Luas Cross City project bodes well for the delivery of other much-needed projects over the coming years, such as Metro North, Dart Underground, BusConnects and a world class cycle network. While it is important to celebrate the completion of Luas Cross City, the focus must now be on commencing work on these projects as soon as possible,” said McQueen.