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By no author23 March 2018
Dublin Chamber has welcomed the launch today of a public consultation on the MetroLink rail project, which will provide a much-needed new underground link between Dublin Airport and the City Centre.
MetroLink – previously known as Metro North – will connect Swords, Dublin Airport, and the north Dublin suburbs with the City Centre and south Dublin suburbs.
Dublin Chamber’s Head of Public Affairs Graeme McQueen said: “Today is an exciting hopeful day for Dublin and for Ireland. This is a critical missing link in Dublin’s transport network, and we now have the first tangible sign of progress towards making an underground metro in Dublin a reality.”
“MetroLink is an ambitious project, but one that a fast-growing Dublin region desperately needs. Dublin has already been waiting far too long for this project. It is absolutely vital that we start the construction of MetroLink as soon as possible and deliver the completed project at the earliest possible juncture.”
The public consultation, launched today, will invite the public to have their say on the preferred route and station locations over the coming months. There will also be a series of public information events in different locations along the route from 27th March to 11th May.
Mr McQueen said: “It is important that all stakeholders get involved in the process at his early stage. The recent experience in College Green has shown that a fractured approach to transport planning doesn’t work. Transport providers and city planners will need to listen to one another carefully in the coming months to ensure that we don’t run into problems later.”
The Chamber said that MetroLink will provide a transport solution for Dublin Airport, but also for the rapidly growing North County Dublin region.
Mr McQueen said: “The lack of a direct rail link from the airport to the City Centre is already a major negative for Dublin and Ireland in the battle for jobs and investment. A fast and direct route Is a given in most large cities around the world. It’s time Dublin was brought up to speed. Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport are expected to exceed 36 million by 2022. Ireland clearly needs a direct rail link between the national airport and the centre of the capital, allowing overseas visitors to connect quickly and conveniently with the city and the wider public transport network. The absence of a modern amenity like this makes an underwhelming impression upon business travellers and foreign investors.”
MetroLink is not only needed to serve Dublin Airport, but also to cater for the additional 40,000+ people who will be commuting into Dublin city centre from north county Dublin within the next 6 years, the Chamber said.
Mr McQueen said: “Fingal County already has a population of almost 300,000, making it the third most populous county in the country. Since 2011, its population has grown by more than the whole province of Connacht. A new rail link will go a long way to support these strong growth levels and accommodate even more growth in the future."
Mr McQueen said: "Much-needed projects like MetroLink and DART Underground have the potential to transform Dublin's business competitiveness and quality of life. Together, they can provide the cornerstone of a public transport network that will set Dublin up for the next century.”