Cuffe hopeful of green light from Coalition


THE GREENS are “hopeful” Metro North will get final approval from Government, according to Minister of State for Sustainable Transport Ciarán Cuffe.

He claimed the rail link from St Stephen’s Green in Dublin to Swords would create 4,000 construction jobs, as well as 2,000 other posts linked to the project during the construction period.

“I am now hopeful that the Government will give final approval to the project so that the works can proceed without delay,” Mr Cuffe said.

He warned that failure to balance investment in road infrastructure with comparable investment in “high quality” public transport would see a return to a gridlocked M50 in years to come.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Brian Cowen declined to give any indication of his thinking on the initiative when questioned by reporters in Brussels yesterday.

Asked if he shared the Green Party’s assessment of the importance of the project going ahead, Mr Cowen said: “The discussions on the capital programme are still ongoing. I can’t speak for the Government until the Government make decisions on these matters.”

Labour spokesman on transport Joe Costello said his party strongly supported the concept. However, given the crisis in the public finances, a cost-benefit analysis should determine the timing of the project.