DUBLIN RAIL

 

Sir, - Frank McDonald's report (March 29th) on the controversy over the LRT proposals for Dublin, inaccurately represents the chamber's position on this issue.

Firstly, the chamber is not opposed, rightly, to the plans. It has yet to reach a definitive position. The chamber is voicing the serious concerns of business in the city about the disruption and displacement the installation of this system will cause. The chamber is asking questions about the full cost of LRT, about its efficiency and about the alternatives available to the city. These questions were never satisfactorily addressed and certainly not through the DTI process.

This leads me to my second point. The suggestion that the chamber has been tardy on this issue is absolutely not the case. The reality is that it would have been impossible to debate LRT properly heretofore, as detailed plans are only now beginning to emerge. Throughout the DTI process, for instance, LRT was only discussed as an option in the broadest strategic terms, and certainly there was no substantive discussion at consultative panel level of the alternatives available.

Indeed, in his article, Mr Mc Donald concedes that the Minister is establishing a public consultation process later this year to hear the views for and against LRT. Obviously the period of consultation is far from "beyond its sell by date" as suggested in the article. Now that the full facts are only now becoming apparent, it is just beginning. - Yours, etc.,

President,

Dublin Chamber of Commerce,

Clare Street,

Dublin 2.

Frank McDonald writes: If Dublin Chamber of Commerce is "not opposed" to LRT, how come it is actively canvassing support for such alternatives as articulated buses? By calling on the Government to "reassess" the LRT plan, the chamber is seeking to reopen the entire strategy devised by the Dublin Transportation Initiative, of which it forms an integral part. As a member of the DTI Consultative Panel, the chamber could have voiced the concerns it is now raising about LRT. It did not do so.