independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Airport Metro link plan suspended

Plans for a 25km Metro link between Tallaght and Dublin Airport have been pulled, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar confirmed

Plans for a 25km Metro link between Tallaght and Dublin Airport have been pulled over the lack of State and private funds.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar confirmed he has suspended the planning process for Metro West as money to construct the new railway will not be available in the foreseeable future.

He revealed Government was also considering which, if any, other rail infrastructure projects will proceed as public spending is cut.

Mr Varadkar said acting on the advice of the National Transport Authority (NTA), he has instructed the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) to withdraw its application for a Railway Order from An Bord Pleanala.

"From this weekend, I have suspended all planning works for Metro West and the An Bord Pleanala oral hearing which was due to commence next month will now not proceed," said Mr Varadkar.

Metro West was to be procured as a Public Private Partnership (PPP), with a significant contribution from the exchequer.

It had been hoped the service would take traffic off the M50 by carrying up to 36 million passengers a year.

However Mr Varadkar said no major PPP project has secured funding since the financial crisis began three years ago.

"Until financial credibility is restored, the international debt funding market will be reluctant to lend funds to finance projects in Ireland, the repayment of which is ultimately dependant on the State," he continued.

"Moreover, the Exchequer will not be able to make its contribution to the cost in the foreseeable future."

Press Association

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