NTA doubts that early de­liv­ery of Metro is pos­si­ble

Fingal Independent - - NEWS -

THE Na­tional Trans­port Author­ity (NTA) sounded a note of cau­tion amidst re­peated calls at the Mayor’s sem­i­nar on the project in Swords, to speed the de­liv­ery of New Metro North ahead of its in­tended date of de­liv­ery in 2026 or 2027, say an early ar­rival for the long-awaited project may not be pos­si­ble.

Ad­dress­ing the Mayor’s ‘ Fingal on Track: Pre­par­ing for Metro North’ sem­i­nar the NTA’s deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive, Hugh Cree­gan, said months could be saved on the de­liv­ery time of the project but not years.

In a ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion at the sem­i­nar, Mr Cree­gan re­sponded to calls for an early de­liv­ery of the line say­ing: ‘We may be able to shave some months off it as we go along, but I don’t want to prom­ise that we can shave years off it. I don’t be­lieve that’s pos­si­ble.’

But Mr Cree­gan did ex­press the NTA’s full sup­port for the project which he de­scribed as pro­vid­ing the ‘ only so­lu­tion’ for traf­fic con­ges­tion on the ap­proaches from Fingal to the city cen­tre.

He told the sem­i­nar that the NTA had looked at al­ter­na­tives to ease con­ges­tion along the traf­fic cor­ri­dor that the Metro will run be­tween Swords and the city cen­tre and the or­gan­i­sa­tion had come to the con­clu­sion that ‘ the Metro North project is the only right, long-term so­lu­tion that will re­lieve con­ges­tion along the cor­ri­dor’.

‘Without it, we’re go­ing to suf­fer in­creas­ing con­ges­tion along that cor­ri­dor,’ he added.

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Dar­ragh But­ler (FF), a long-time pro­po­nent of the Metro North project and Swords res­i­dent, called this sem­i­nar in an ef­fort to speed the de­liv­ery of the project which has been long de­layed by the eco­nomic down­turn. Wel­com­ing del­e­gates to the sem­i­nar, the Mayor sounded a much more op­ti­mistic note than the NTA deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive on bring­ing the New Metro North project to Swords ahead of the date set by the last Gov­ern­ment.

He said: ‘I am de­lighted to wel­come you to County Hall and to host this sem­i­nar on Metro North which is an es­sen­tial in­vest­ment for the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of Swords and Fingal.’

Ex­plain­ing the back­ground to the project, the Fingal Mayor said: ‘In 2015, the Gov­ern­ment pub­lished Build­ing on Re­cov­ery, its in­fra­struc­ture and cap­i­tal in­vest­ment plan up to 2021. ‘ The largest sin­gle project in­cluded in the plan was a new metro to ad­dress the trans­port needs of the Swords/ Air­port/City- Cen­tre Cor­ri­dor. Metro North is planned to be in op­er­a­tion by 2026/2027.’

‘ This is a wel­come com­mit­ment to Metro North but given the fore­cast travel de­mand along the cor­ri­dor plus the im­por­tance of the metro in un­der­pin­ning the sus­tain­able fu­ture eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of Fingal, it is vi­tal that in­vest­ment in the project is ad­vanced and that it is in op­er­a­tion at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble date.’

Speak­ers at the sem­i­nar in­cluded se­nior coun­cil of­fi­cials and Fingal County Coun­cil’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Paul Reid as well as Ali­son Hardi­man, Head of Plan­ning and En­vi­ron­men­tal Law at McDow­ell Pur­cell, Kevin Toland, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of the daa, Guy Thompson, pres­i­dent of Fingal Dublin Cham­ber and host of the event, Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Dar­ragh But­ler.

NTA deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Hugh Cree­gan.

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