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Wednesday 12 December 2018

Academic casts doubt on costs of 'wonderful' Metro North

The proposed Metro North
The proposed Metro North

Shona Murray

The Government analysed three separate reports into the feasibility of the Metro North and landed at the one that endorsed the plan.

Professor Edgar Morgenroth from the Business School at Dublin City University said "there were three reports altogether" and the Government hasn't published the cost benefit analyses of any of them.

"If it was so wonderful a project, why are they not publishing the cost-benefit analysis?" he asked.

The Dublin Metro North underground plan, which has been around for over a decade, was revised and put front and centre of the Government's National Development Plan, which was published on Friday.

Renamed the 'Metro Link' it aims to deliver a direct rail service from the city to Dublin Airport, incorporating southside suburbs.

But Mr Morgenroth has cast doubt over the viability of the plan. He questions whether the population density exists for the underground link to make economic sense.

"The really key issue is do you have enough people to make it work?" he told the Irish Independent.

"If Fingal North can get the densities in and around the line, then it is worthwhile."

He warned that the State was not building new homes near the proposed lines, adding: "Part of that line will go through places where there is literally nothing but fields."

He said: "We don't ever see the evidence.

"I happen to know there were three reports conducted. There are redacted copies of the ones the Government chose not to support."

The first one showed Metro North not having "benefits exceeding the costs", he said.

"Wouldn't it be better to have confidence in this project?"

Irish Independent

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