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Closure of Luas Green Line to facilitate Metrolink 'off the agenda', Ross says

The Minister’s comments follow reports that the Luas Green Line could be closed for up to four years.

0723 Shane Ross_90564265 Source: Leah Farrell

MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT Shane Ross has said that any extended closure of the Luas Green Line to facilitate the Metrolink route through Dublin is “off the agenda”. 

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Ross was responding to media reports which claim that the Southside section of the Metrolink project will be abandoned under new plans due to be published by the National Transport Authority (NTA) next month. 

The route, which is due to connect Dublin Airport to the city centre by rail for the first time, will still run from Swords to the city centre but it’s now likely to stop north of Ranelagh at Charlemont.

Plans for a Metro in Dublin have been floating around for some time; plans were halted in 2011 due to the economic downturn. In March last year, a new plan was published for the MetroLink, which would see a route run between Swords and Sandyford.

That plan, however, received a significant amount of criticism. The NTA then suggested a ‘cut and cover’ plan which would see the Metro travel underground. Ross, however, held crisis talks with the NTA this week to warn against that plan, which would cause significant disruption to the Luas Green Line. 

Speaking today, Ross stopped short of confirming the scrapping of the Southside section but added that a four, or even two year, disruption to the Luas Green Line would be unacceptable. “I will not countenance that sort of delay.”

Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan has welcomed the proposed scrapping of the Southside route, describing it as “a matter that has deeply frustrated those living in the areas most impacted.”

“The fact that this ill-considered plan could be taken off the table means that there may be a welcome opportunity to draw up a better, more environmentally friendly MetroLink plan for South Dublin and this time, in proper consultation with the public.”

A revised route for the Metrolink is due to be published in the coming weeks, an NTA spokesperson confirmed. “Those amended plans will be subject to a further round of public consultation.”

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