NTA would like to clarify some of the matters that have arisen in relation to the GDA Draft Transport Strategy published this week. It is important to the NTA that our proposals are clearly understood and presented accurately to the public. The public consultation phase is a vital step in the final review of the Strategy and it is incumbent on the NTA to ensure there is genuine and constructive public consultation based on the facts.
The following sets out to correct any misinterpretations which may have occurred as it has been suggested that among the proposals that we published this week were plans to delay or defer key projects such as Metrolink, Luas to Finglas, Luas to Lucan, Luas to Poolbeg, and Luas to Bray and DART+. This is not the case.
NTA has not proposed any change in the timeline for Metrolink. The pathway for delivery for Metrolink is the same today as it was before the GDA strategy was published this week. Metrolink is still scheduled to go to planning next year (2022) and is still scheduled to be constructed as soon as possible after that.
Likewise, we are not proposing any deferral of the four Luas projects provided for in our current Strategy. Luas to Finglas is still due to go to planning in 2024 and constructed in the years after that.
The other three Luas projects are all still on the same schedule they were on before we published our Strategy this week. We have not proposed any deferral to any of these schemes.
DART+ is already being designed, and schemes including DART+ West and DART+ SouthWest are already out for public consultation. NTA has not and will not propose any deferral of these projects.
NTA and Íarnród Éireann will in the coming months announce a framework arrangement for the procurement of 600 electric / battery-electric powered DART carriages for services on the Maynooth, Hazelhatch and Drogheda lines.
We are proposing that some projects should change status:
For example, there are potentially eight new Luas lines that we believe will be necessary in the decades ahead and it is our view that provision should be made for those starting now.
There is a new rail line proposed to serve Navan for projected population increases in the years’ ahead.
DART services are to be further extended, beyond what is currently proposed under DART+ to places like Wicklow, Kilcock and Sallins.
Provision remains in our proposals for a DART tunnel, but based on projections for 2042, we believe that the net increase of people using public transport as a result of the tunnel would only be in the order of 10,000 a day, as part of a total of about 1.4m a day. We propose to keep DART tunnel under ongoing review.