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Minister Ryan needs to answer questions on delays to MetroLink and DART+

Updated: May 6, 2022

PRESS RELEASE - 28 September 2021

Sustainable mobility advocacy group Dublin Commuter Coalition expressed shock and bitter disappointment with Minister Ryan’s recent comments (The Times Ireland, ‘Dublin Metro will be open by 2034, transport minister Eamon Ryan hopes’, 28 September 2021) and called on the Minister to answer questions about the source of the delays and to outline plans to reduce them. The group also wants clarity on the status of similar large rail projects like DART+, Luas Finglas and Cork Luas and how to avoid similar delays in the future.

Dublin Commuter Coalition’s Chairperson, Kevin Carter, said: “We’ve been hearing of delays to MetroLink and DART+ since the 19th of September and we still haven’t received an explanation from the Minister for Transport about why these delays are occurring or a firm estimate of when the projects are expected to finish. In the case of MetroLink, four years into a ten year project, we were hoping for something more concrete than the Minister saying he’s hopeful about it opening under seven years late. The people of North Dublin have been told about these plans for the past 50 years with one proposal for a metro already designed and cancelled in recent years. They deserve a lot more from the government than the confusion and rumours that have surrounded these projects for the past 10 days.”

Dublin Commuter Coalition’s Public Relations Officer, Feljin Jose, said: “The original timeline envisaged a 21 month design stage culminating in a railway order application to An Bord Pleanála in Q3 2019. According to Minister Ryan, this is now two and a half years behind schedule and “no one knows” how long the railway order application stage will take. This isn’t the first rail project in the state to go before An Bord Pleanála for approval. It’s not even the first metro project for North Dublin to apply for An Bord Pleanála approval. The idea that they can’t give any estimates because of this statutory process isn’t believable. What we need from the Minister now is an explanation of how these delays were allowed to happen, a clear timeline for the years ahead outlining when the next phases are expected to be and what he can do to speed it up.”

A Dublin Commuter Coalition committee member, Janis Morrissey, said: “It seriously calls into question the government's commitment to adequately resource development of public transport. There is no sense of priority or urgency. It also makes a mockery of the government’s climate plans. Serious questions now have to be asked about how Dublin’s public transport system will cope until these projects are built and the knock on effects this will have on the plans to upgrade the Luas Green line to metro by 2035.”

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