Northside metro must not be held back by southside problems – Fingal chief
Paul Reid calls for Metrolink to Swords to go ahead independent of southern section
Paul Reid, chief executive of Fingal County Council Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
The northside route of the State’s Metrolink rail line, that would connect Dublin airport and Swords to the city centre, must not be held up by “issues” with the southside section, the chief executive of Fingal County Council has said.
Paul Reid on Monday night told Fingal councillors it was “not acceptable” that difficulties relating to the route from Dublin city centre to the south of the city would hold up construction of the northside leg of the line.
“If needs be, the project should be divided into two phases, north and south, with preference given to the northern phase to ensure it is completed on schedule in 2027,” he said.
It emerged last December that an application to build the rail line from Swords to Sandyford is unlikely to be made until 2020 due to delays in determining a revised route for the southside section.
Transport authorities had been due to announce the redesigned route of the line last August, but postponed their decision, and had been expected to publish the route details by last November.
However, publication of the revised route was further delayed to allow time to design an extension of the underground section past Ranelagh in south Dublin.
The additional tunnelling was likely to add more than €100 million to the cost of the €3 billion line.
The northside section, which will serve the airport and Fingal’s principal town Swords, must proceed on time, Mr Reid said.
Any delay was “not acceptable given the project’s importance to North Dublin and the pressing need to link an ever-expanding Dublin Airport to the city centre and bring it into the national rail network,” he said.
“As we seek to leverage and build on Fingal’s key strengths in terms of our people, our communities, our built and natural heritage, and our existing and planned infrastructure, a key piece in our development jigsaw is MetroLink.”
Meanwhile, South Dublin County Council has called on Minister for Transport Shane Ross to reroute the metro to serve Rathfarnham instead of Sandyford.
South Dublin county councillors on Monday voted in support of a Green Parry motion that proposes the separation of the Metro from the Luas Green line at Charlemont to serve new stations in Rathfarnham, Knocklyon, Terenure and Rathmines.
The current proposed route involves upgrading the Green line to metro standard from the Charlemont stop, north of Ranelagh, to Sandyford.