Fingal Independent

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Luas to Swords is now the favourite


As the NTA and the Department of Transport continue to weigh up the six options for transport solutions for Swords and Dublin Airport into the future, the second-choice of many of the local representatives in the town seems to be emerging as the favourite.

Reports in the national media in recent days suggest that Metro North will be replaced by a north Dublin Luas line.

The Luas line would be an extension to the planned cross-city Luas and would involve a line from Cabra to Dublin Airport and on to Swords, tunnelling under Glasnevin cemetery at one point.

This option, as reported in the Fingal Independent some months ago, is also one of two of the six options on the table favoured by the Rail Procurement Agency.

While there will be disappointment that Metro North would be abandoned in favour of this proposal, the news that the Luas line has become the front-runner will come as some relief to a number of local representatives who had begun to fear that a proposed Dart spur from Clongriffin to the airport and Swords was on the cards, a route that would have left little advantage for Swords commuters, taking them miles out of their way before journeying into the city centre.

The news that the Luas line is now the favoured option, even though the Department of Transport have refused to confirm this, has got a mixed reaction from local politicians.

Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) said: 'My levels of optimism are starting to rise again. Hopefully, all of our submissions will have been worthwhile and the correct decision will be made.

'What we need for Swords and north County Dublin is a rail link, either Metro North or the Luas, linking Swords, Dublin Airport and DCU to O'Connell Street.'

Cllr Butler added: 'Under no circumstances can we allow a situation where light rail is deemed good enough for the south-side but on the north-side we have to make do with bendy buses instead.

'We want work to start on a rail solution sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, for anyone in their 40' commuting into the city centre daily at the moment, I feel that we will all have retired before a rail solution is put in place at this rate.'

He concluded: 'Hopefully the correct decision will be made before summer with either Luas or Metro North announced.'

But local Green Party representative, Joe O'Brien said the Luas solution was 'sub-optimal' and would only have half the capacity of the Metro North project.

Mr O'Brien said: 'As the Green Party outlined in its submission to the NTA, Metro North represents the best solution to the impending, inevitable transport bottleneck which will develop as the area's population expands dramatically.

'It's clear that the best option for the Swords-Airport-City Centre corridor is the optimised Metro.

'The proposed Luas line that Minister O'Donohoe seems set to sanction will not provide the speed or carrying capacity that the community needs.'

The Green Party representative concluded: 'Although the initial costs of the Metro are higher, when the long-term benefits are considered, it represents the best option for the route.'