Labour TDs critical of transport cuts

Thu, Nov 10, 2011, 00:00

Labour Party TD Tommy Broughan today criticised the Government's decision to shelve the Metro North and other transport projects, saying the move will come as a "major disappointment" to people living in the Dublin region.

Outlining his reaction to the announcement that several major transport projects will not go ahead as planned, the Dublin North East TD said there was "no doubt" but that the millions already spent on the projects amounted to "money down the drain".

Mr Broughan said the possibility that companies involved in the final stages of the Metro procurement competition might sue for damages "could not be ruled out."

In a highly critical statement, Mr Broughan said it was "disappointing" that Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar and the Government did not try "more vigorously" to keep these transport projects "alive".

He said it was "dreadful" that the planning of Metro North and of the Dart Interconnector by Irish Rail and Dublin City Council "has been discarded and allowed to go to waste". The completion of Metro North would have been a "huge boost" to economic growth and employment in the Dublin/Mid-Leinster region.

"Minister Varadkar told me earlier today that the Dublin projects were not being cancelled but effectively being put on ice. But this response does nothing to dispel the cynical Fianna Fail view that Metro North will not be coming along any decade soon," Mr Broughan said.

"It is noteworthy that Minister Varadkar does not seem to have engaged with any offers from the private sector to continue building Metro North (given a long history of considerable interest in the project from EU and other transport companies and from various financial institutions.) "

He said Mr Varadkar now has "a huge responsibility" to vigorously pursue private funding "to enable further works to proceed on the projects in the lifetime of this Government."

Labour Party Dublin Central TD Joe Costello said it was "extremely disappointing" that the Dublin Institute of Technology Campus project at Grangegorman has been deferred.

"Much of the project is a public private partnership and the State would not require significant capital to deliver a major project which would have enormous benefits in terms of job creation and education nationally," he said.