NTA doubts that early delivery of Metro is possible
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.