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Luas Cross City moves one step closer as EU bank says it may offer funding

Preliminary construction work on the Luas link-up in Dublin city centre is due to start in the next few weeks.

The Luas at Stephen's Green in Dublin
The Luas at Stephen's Green in Dublin
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE LONG-AWAITED MOVE to link Dublin’s two existing Luas lines moved one step closer today as the European Union’s bank said it is interested in providing funding for the project.

The head of the European Investment Bank (EIB) confirmed that the bank is considering giving a loan to help fund the Luas Cross City Line, which has been estimated to cost €370 million.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said Irish government officials are now working with the EIB on the loan application.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has already allocated money from its capital programme to finance the Luas link-up, but the Minister said the money from the EIB could mean the project would be “financed by the State on more favourable terms”.

Preliminary construction work on the Luas Cross City is due to start in the next few weeks.

The major infrastructure project will see the red and green Luas lines linked up in Dublin city centre, with an extension line bringing people from the city centre to Broombridge station.

The plan to link the red and green Luas lines was originally called Luas BXD – with the B standing for an extension of the line to Broombridge – but was changed earlier this year to Luas Cross City.

The linking of the Luas lines will add an additional 10 million passengers per year. Almost 30 million journeys were taken on the two Luas lines last year alone, a small increase on the previous year’s figures.

The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2017.

Read: Luas extension project changes name to ‘generate public awareness’ >

Read: Luas passenger numbers up with nearly 30 million journeys last year >

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