MetroLink proposal and Dublin

 

Sir, – I am one of the many, many people firmly opposed to the MetroLink route extension south beyond Charlemont above ground. Along with the vital access issues and noise pollution, the proposal strikes at the very heart of community. Charlemont is a business and commercial stop for the city centre, after that the Luas route continues largely through neighbourhoods. Beechwood and Cowper are very residential areas made up of families and older people and the proposal will destroy the heart of an established, close-knit community. The proposal is an endorsement of urban sprawl representing the bifurcation of Ranelagh as a residential suburb and its segregation from Dunville Avenue and Rathmines.

The proposed extension south has entailed a markedly poor consultation process and a lack of clear answers for a proposal with only one option. The lack of consultation is marked by the abject failure to contact directly the people and communities affected. The lack of clear answers at the public consultation or in subsequent requests for information is deeply disturbing.

Problems inherent to the proposal include the alarming frequency with attendant noise pollution and vibration levels of the proposed service. Permeability is a key issue. Road closures will obstruct essential services (fire and ambulance services); safe school routes; and access to vital community and commercial services for older people. Confused options for a Dunville crossing provided at the consultation ranged from lifts to an underpass – both have attendant known social order problems that will degrade the neighbourhood.

Luas infrastructure has recently been upgraded and extended at great expense, even if the process was mishandled and remains incomplete. Agenda-setting claims that the MetroLink lines were prepared for by the Luas are undermined by the absence of consultation for those preparations.

MetroLink represents the forcing of all capacity onto one line, no proper studies have been conducted and strategic issues of connectivity are not being addressed. Other areas need transportation, which would relieve pressure on the green route. Alternative routes linking up key hubs such as Aviva Stadium, St Vincent’s Hospital and UCD have not been explored. Instead of spreading the load, the proposal is forcing it onto one rail line and an already overly congested road between Ranelagh and Rathmines.

Popular support is for the much-needed link between the city and the airport and not for heavy-duty train lines causing the destruction and segregation of residential areas and established close-knit communities.

Despite the potential impact of the proposal on an established community and the segregation of Ranelagh from Rathmines, the one benefit of the MetroLink proposal has been to galvanise a community and an electorate. – Yours, etc,

NEIL MURPHY,

Ranelagh, Dublin 6.

Sir, – Cliff Taylor’s column forms part of my Saturday reading and I normally enjoy how he cuts to the chase on his chosen topic. However, I disagree with his point about nimbyism and the proposed Metro route (Opinion & Analysis, May 12th).

The MetroLink proposal to locate, for a minimum of six years, a tunnel-boring machine launch site immediately adjacent to two schools is more than “digging up GAA and soccer fields” (which it should be pointed out are not in the constituency of any Minister!). Pointing out some obvious failings in the current design, which would stall the project at the statutory stage, does not make one an objector. – Yours, etc,

ROBERT LAIRD,

Dublin 7.