Reported Closure of Entire Luas Green Line for Two Years is Unfounded

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

Committee on Transport on July 18th 2018 that the line would close

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

would cause.


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

mistruths.


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

adequately informed.


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.

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