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Dublin Chamber has called on the new Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan to expedite the delivery of the Finglas Luas extension and the DART Underground project.
Dublin Chamber, the representative body for businesses in the Dublin region, made the call in a letter to the new Minister earlier this week. In the letter, the Chamber urged the Minister to follow through on already-underway projects such as MetroLink, BusConnects and the DART Expansion Scheme.
Dublin Chamber has urged the new Government to learn from the mistakes made during the last economic downturn and to not turn off the investment tap over the coming years. The Chamber said that ambitious, concerted investment in new transport infrastructure is needed to revitalise the economy and ensure that Dublin's transport system is ready to cope with both existing demand and future growth.
According to Dublin Chamber’s Head of Public Affairs Fergus Sharpe: "The delivery of key projects such as MetroLink, BusConnects and the DART Expansion Programme will bring a number of vital benefits. These projects will help to dramatically improve quality of life in the Dublin region, reduce the chronic traffic congestion that is holding the city back and provide huge impetus to the Government's aim of reducing carbon emissions by moving millions of journeys each year from cars to sustainable public transport.
"Over the past few years, considerable work has been done to progress a number of key major transport projects. We cannot afford to let this progress stall. Now is the time to press on with the projects currently at an advanced stage in the planning process and to also start work on the proper planning of other much-needed schemes such as DART Underground and Luas extensions. We have dates for the start and completion of the MetroLink and BusConnects projects. It is really important that these dates are not allowed to slip. We also now need full project timelines to be published for the DART Underground rail line which will run between Connolly and Heuston stations - a missing rail link we have been talking about building for almost 50 years. At the very least, the new Government needs to get DART Underground ‘shovel-ready’ by the end of its term of office," said Mr Sharpe.
Dublin Chamber has pinpointed the proposed 4km extension of the Luas Green line to Finglas as a project which could easily be advanced and brought to construction in the short term. The Chamber said the Finglas extension, which would run from Broombridge to Charlestown in Finglas, would help reduce the number of car journeys in Dublin.
Mr Sharpe said: "The Luas Green line extension to Broombridge has been very successful, with the number of users growing all the time. Extending the Luas line to Finglas would open up the line to tens of thousands more people, offering them a compelling and reliable public transport option. The N2 route is one of the most congested in the city in terms of private cars. Introducing the Luas, combined with new park and ride facilities, will help reduce the number of cars coming in to the city each day."