Palpable Anger – Dart Underground and Metro North

To whom it may concern,

I am writing this today, to voice my frustration, and anger in relation to the Irish Times article, reporting that the Dart Underground, and Metro North are to be scrapped for a costly, inane Luas line extension to the Airport (line D2) that does not even go to the Airport (see below) – and will exceed capacity before it is even built.
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The Dart Underground is an integral, if not vital missing piece of transport, first proposed in 1972 – under Forfas Forbartha, before the first DART line was introduced. Dart Underground would have (and still can) revolutionise transport in not just Dublin, but potentially Louth, Meath, and Kildare. Currently the North-South Dart line should be DCRT – Dublin Coastal Rapid Transit, which is not that frequent, or that rapid, due to congestion at Connolly station. The Dart Underground inter connector line would have enabled trains not to rely on going through Connolly and would have easily doubled capacity – and revenue, taking more cars out of the city centre – something that is vitally needed, and wanted by both DCC and Government. Ironically, Proposing the Dart Underground, as well as the Metro North and West were one set of things FF did right!
While the Luas has been excellent, it is already over capacity, and extending the green line further does not make the best use of light rail – which is optimum for short rail journeys- nor does re-introducing failed bendy BRT busses, which would again, only congest the city centre, which relies on two main transport arteries at present. Dublin’s Georgian thoroughfares are simply not built for such busses.
While the Phoenix Park tunnel will connect Heuston to Connolly, it will not serve the south city centre, nor provide the proposed electrification to Drogheda, Maynooth and Kildare, as the Dart Underground would have allowed, and indeed allow for greater capacity. A great many people north of Malahide are very poorly served transport wise, cutting anything above the estuary away from the rest of the county. A Dart transport spur from Clongriffin to Swords and the Airport would greatly serve these people, too, as this would create a network of jobs and accessibility in the area. The plan for Metro North was admittedly expensive and possibly politically difficulty, but it fulfilled the requirements of Dublin Airport. It planned to provide a high-capacity, frequent, dedicated rail service to one of the few airports in Europe that lacks one. Not to mention that to tunnel under historic Glasnevin cemetery, would cost finacially as well as politically. It would be far more sensible to build Dart Underground and Metro North – To even consider that the nonsensical Luas extension can compete with these projects is an insult to everyone’s intelligence.
Alan Kelly, currently Minister for the environment, previously Minister of State at the Department of Transport said that is was middle class snobbishness that is stymying public transport use. This could not be further from the truth. For example – presently, to get from Rathmines to Sutton takes 1 hour and 20 mins in the mornings – if one leaves the house before 7am to be there before 9am. A car takes 35 mins at this time. Why would people use public transport, when it is not joined up, and congested – while private transport is more comfortable and reliable?
Recently MEP Brian Hayes implored the government to propose Dart Underground and Metro North to be part of an “EU war chest of funding” available to member states. Why are you not doing this, FG, Labour?
In conclusion, the Oireachtas, and indeed this government needs to commit to Dart Underground and proper future proof transport links in Dublin City and County. The bulk of our economy relies on Dublin to prosper, and to trickle to other counties. The Dart Underground is the first step in creating better links to the Greater Dublin Transport area. To axe such a vital, ambitious and necessary project, is not only foolish, but it is to the detriment of the entire nation. In the 90’s there was the opportunity to invest in an underground system, but the Luas was created instead – an excellent yet incomplete system. We are now at another juncture – will the 31st Dail be responsible for letting a much needed project be axed for one, that will already be out of date before the first sod of earth is turned?
Kind Regards,
Keith Michael Gregg
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