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Removal of cycling and pedestrian facilities revealed as main issues relating to Luas extension to Finglas

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The removal of cycling and pedestrian facilities has emerged as one of the main issues of concern relating to the proposed extension of the Luas to Finglas.

A report on the latest non-statutory consultation on the preferred route for the project – a 4km extension of the Luas Green line from Broombridge to Charlestown – found there was overwhelming support “in principle” for the project, with 82pc in favour.

More than 360 responses were received as part of the consultation, which will help inform the final design of the route before a business case for the project is made and a Railway Order is submitted to An Bord Pleanála in 2023.

There is no clear timeline for the delivery of the Finglas Luas beyond then, with the tender process and construction phase expected to take up to four years.

The most recent consultation on the preferred route saw submissions received from local authorities, residents, businesses and public representatives.

Dublin City Council, while supportive of the Luas extension, urged a reconsideration of plans to remove some of the walking and cycling facilities to make way for the route, emphasising the importance of “a fully integrated transport network”.

The council has also suggested investigating the option of extending the Luas line north of the proposed terminus at Charlestown to the Northwood MetroLink stop in Santry, “widening the catchment of the route and improving connectivity to Dublin Airport”.

Most of the responses received during the consultation mentioned the removal of pedestrian and cycling facilities from some stretches of the preferred route. According to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), this followed “a large amount of social media activity on the topic”.

There was strong opposition to this proposal, with over two-thirds (69pc of online responses) rating the walking and cycling options as “poor” or “very poor”.

Residents’ concerns over noise, vibration, congestion, safety, loss of privacy, anti-social behaviour and a reduction of parking spaces are also detailed in the report.

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In addition, the loss of green space across seven public areas was raised, as well as the potential impact on wildlife habitats.

Positive feedback included economic benefits, commercial investments, residential development, connectivity and improvements in travel times for those living and working in the area.

The extension of the Luas Green Line to Finglas will remove up to 10,000 daily car journeys and see an extra 5,500 commuters using public transport. There will be four new stops at Charlestown, Finglas Village, Finglas west, St Helena’s and Tolka Valley.

The line will run along two new bridges at Broombridge and Tolka River Valley Park. Up to 70pc of the route will be built using grass track, a method described by TII as “an attractive and sustainable innovation for urban transport in Ireland”.

There will be eight trams per hour – one every 7.5 minutes – with journey times of 13 minutes between Charlestown and Broombridge or 30 minutes to Trinity College.


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