MetroLink vital for North Dublin City communities
22 September 2021
- Delays will affect communities in North Inner City, Cabra, Glasnevin, Drumcondra and Phibsborough
- North Dublin City communities bear brunt of congestion and air quality problems
Senator Marie Sherlock has called on Government to provide a detailed timeline for the MetroLink project. Responding to Minister Eamon Ryan’s latest statement in the Seanad today, Senator Sherlock said that despite the fact that more than €220 million has been spent on the project to date, the Government appear wed to delaying the project and depriving communities of quick and easy public transport. In the midst of a climate crisis, Senator Sherlock MetroLink is a vital tool in the armoury in improving air quality in the inner city.
Senator Sherlock said:
“It would be simply unacceptable if the MetroLink project was delayed until 2034. While most of the focus to date has been on the impact of a delay on North County Dublin, the communities within the North Inner City and in Glasnevin, Cabra, Drumcondra and Phibsborough will also be severely affected. Over €219m has been spent on the metro project between Metro North and MetroLink over the past two decades and the communities across the northside deserve more than vague promises about game-changing transport infrastructure.
“There is a genuine need for the Metrolink in the communities where I live in Dublin Central. These areas are the gateway to the city: that means they bear the brunt of commuter traffic and suffer poorer air quality due to car emissions. In fact, in some areas we have seen levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air more than 25% over the EU maximum limit.
“Metrolink will make a real different to quality of life in these communities. It is not a standalone project, but will have a serious knock on impact on other local transport projects if it fails to go ahead. Metrolink is crucial to the smooth functioning of BusConnects in terms of taking traffic off our roads and giving options to those with no other method of commuting. Without a Metrolink, there would also be serious questions about the full roll out of the Dart South West project given the crucial link between Heuston Station and the new station in Glasnevin.
“The state has already invested heavily in the Metrolink. Some €170 million was spent on the shelved Metro North project, with at least another €49 million spent between 2018 and 2020. This is not just one option among many: Metrolink is a major, longstanding public transport commitment by successive governments.
“Yet despite this, the Department of Transport has attempted to mislead those of us concerned about the progress of the project by saying that the timelines published related only to the “early stages of consultation”. In the spring of this year, TII made clear they intended to make a railway application order this past August.
“The question now is whether this Government is going to come clean and say definitively whether Metrolink is going to happen or not. We badly need Metrolink to ensure that there are sustainable travel options in our communities.
“These communities have already lived with broken promises, growing congestion and worsening pollution for almost two decades. Are we seriously going to say to them that they need to wait for two decades more?”