MEDIA RELEASE - 18 February 2019
Dublin Commuter Coalition was founded, in part, as a reaction to
the level of misinformation being pushed by elected representatives
regarding the Dublin Bus Network Redesign under BusConnects.
We are therefore dismayed to again see unsubstantiated rumours
being pushed and endorsed by our elected representatives.
Dublin Commuter Coalition rejects the use of exaggeration and
embellishment of the facts regarding the planned upgrade of the Luas
Green Line under the Metrolink project.
Engagement with the Public Consultation process is only useful if we
give the public the ability to make informed decisions.
We sympathise with the campaign by those along the Green Line to
maintain as much as permeability as is possible to enable people to
access their communities. We also sympathise with the residents of
College Gate apartments in their lobby to find an alternative solution
that does not necessitate the demolition of their homes.
We encourage all members of the public to reject any aspects of plans
they are not happy with and similarly, we encourage people to submit
their approval of plans they do like.
However, we contest, absolutely, the claim that the Luas Green line
will close in its entirety for two years to enable its upgrade.
We contest this claim as it is repeatedly made by the group Rethink
Metrolink who, on foundation, stated to the Oireachtas Select
for 9 months but then began to say 2 years after an opinion piece by
Senator Michael McDowell was published in the Sunday Business Post
on July 22nd 2018. The Senator, in his piece stated:
“The National Transport Authority ridiculously claimed recently at a meeting with Oireachtas members that these works could be completed in 6 months! Anyone who has seen the length of time required for the Luas cross-city part of the Green line will understand that the likely time frame for the loss of passenger services from Charlemont to Sandyford is far more likely to be in the range of 18 to 24 months.“
Senator McDowell lives along the Green Line so we can understand
his worries about the disruption the upgrade may cause in his local
area, but to blatantly mislead people about planning and construction
timescales of which he has no vocational experience is a deception.
To use the Luas Cross City project as some kind of proof that the
quoted 6 month period will actually stretch to 24 is also deceptive,
as Luas Cross City was scheduled to take 4 years to construct and
was constructed in 4 years despite a large portion of the construction
needing to take place among city centre traffic and at several
extremely busy junctions, namely O’Connell Bridge and College
Green. This is something that the upgrade of the Luas Green Line
will not have to contest with and so we don’t understand the Senator
using this as an example of construction running far longer than
scheduled, as this goal of four years construction was met by the
National Transport Authority and Transport Infrastructure Ireland.
We also reject the leader of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan TD stating
that the entire line would be closed for one year. Where his colleague,
Catherine Martin TD is quoted in a piece by the Dublin Gazette as
stating it is two years. It is plainly obvious that these claims are not
based on any evidence as there are differences within the same
political party on what the actual plan is.
We support the Green Party’s call for high frequency rail in South
West Dublin to serve areas such as Rathfarnham and Terenure. But we
do not support this call as an alternative to the Green Line upgrade.
We believe the people in South West Dublin deserve a complete and
robust solution to their transport needs. A standalone line stretching
from Tallaght, through Rathfarnham, Terenure to the city centre and
then continuing out to Marino, Coolock and on to Malahide.
We believe that tacking on a short tunnel to the Metrolink plan with
little planning or foresight will do the people of South West Dublin
a disservice. Ideas to connect UCD to the Green line and DART
through Metrolink are welcome, but the Green Line would be unable
to withstand the explosion of passenger numbers such suggestions
Fundamentally, we support the upgrade of the Green Line as
capacity issues on the line at peak hours will continue to get worse as
development continues along the line in Sandyford and Cherrywood.
Eventually, if not upgraded, the Green line will become useless for
anyone between Dundrum and the City, as all trams will arrive at later
stations already full.
We call on the National Transport Authority and Transport
Infrastructure Ireland to be much more proactive in challenging these
bogus timescales because as it currently stands, there is simply no
evidence that is publicly available to support the claim that the Green
Line will close in its entirety for one year, two years or twenty years.
We recognise that sections of the line may be closed at some point
or another and we sympathise greatly with the disruption this would
cause to people who use the Green Line, however these planned
part closures were used on the Red Line during the construction of
Luas Cross City and the city didn’t fall apart. Similarly these planned
part closures are no excuse to spread exaggerated and embellished
We eagerly await the next phase of the Metrolink Public Consultation,
where we hope that we will receive detailed timelines and planned
closures so that this misinformation campaign can come to an end.
We urge the National Transport Authority and Transport Infrastructure
Ireland to release as much detail as possible regarding the various
options and what those options will mean for the construction period.
Further, we urge them to release this information in a more accessible
way as currently many details about the project are hidden away
in long reports and studies, making it difficult for the public to be
Dublin Commuter Coalition was started to give everyday commuters
a seat at the table when we discuss our transport network and our
cityscape. We are therefore extremely proud that our first endeavour
is to fight for an evidence and facts based public consultation process
where information is forthcoming and falsehoods challenged.
Enabling the people of Dublin to actively engage with the process
and make informed decisions that will hopefully lead to a Dublin that
works for all of us.