No plans to revive Metro North project, says Varadkar

Media reports heralding return of Metro North wide of mark, says Minister for Transport

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said recent media reports heralding the return of Metro North were wide of the mark and that the project, designed to link Dublin Airport to the city centre using underground rail lines, is not a priority. Photograph: Sportsfile

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said recent media reports heralding the return of Metro North were wide of the mark and that the project, designed to link Dublin Airport to the city centre using underground rail lines, is not a priority. Photograph: Sportsfile

Fri, Jun 6, 2014, 19:34

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has ruled out any plans to revive the Metro North project, while indicating the proposed Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) remains a more likely alternative.

Speaking at the Fingal County Council agm, Mr Varadkar said recent media reports heralding the return of the Metro North were wide of the mark and that the project, designed to link Dublin Airport to the city centre using underground rail lines, is not a priority.

“Those media reports were incorrect. The situation is as it was - the project, along with Dart Underground and Metro West, is suspended,” he said.

“At the moment we don’t have enough money to maintain the existing infrastructure that we have, so my first priority is to maintain existing roads and railways which are now degrading, rather than spending money on expensive, multi-billion euro investments,” he added.

Said to cost anywhere between €2 and €3 billion, the Government had ruled the venture too costly to pursue in full in 2011, despite reportedly spending €165 million on preparatory work.

Although far from a certainty, the Minister believes the rollout of the BRT, which proposes to link the airport to the city centre in a 35-minute journey, will be prioritised above its expensive predecessor.

“It’s only after I have enough money to protect the infrastructure that I have that we can start considering major new projects, but at the lower end of the scale you have ones that are relatively inexpensive like BRT and certain town bypasses around the country,” the Minister said.

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