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Locals fear cheaper bus will scupper Metro plans

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Artists designs for Metro North stations

Artists designs for Metro North stations

Artists designs for Metro North stations

PUBLIC representatives in North Dublin have said that a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network for the area should not replace plans for a Metro service linking the city centre to the Airport and Swords.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe announced six detailed plans being considered for the northside ranging from Luas extensions to changes to the DART network.

The cheapest option is 32.7km of dedicated BRT road space which is estimated to cost as much as €330m.

The Metro North plan on the other hand could cost up to €2.86bn.

Local representatives have feared for months that the Swiftway bus corridor plan - which is already in the works - could replace the beleaguered Metro project, now another BRT network is being considered among the proposals.

There was a welcome from some that the commitment by government to provide public transport solutions for the growing region, though representatives are adamant that a rail link is the preferred option.

"The delivery of a rail option for Swords is vital to meet the transport deficit and future growth in the town," Dublin North Labour TD Brendan Ryan told the Herald.

Consultation

"My preferred option is the optimised Metro North proposal which would still serve Swords," he added, while encouraging residents and businesses to make submissions to the National Transport Authority during the consultation process.

"I am glad to see the transport need for North Dublin will be addressed," he said. "There is no greater need in the country for a large public transport solution."

SF Cllr Philip Lynam said that people in the area don't need a new bus service but fears the cheaper BRT will be chosen.

"The bus service that is currently coming through Swords and up to north county Dublin is actually very good," he said.

"I just think people have been sold a pup because the government should stick to its promise and deliver on Metro North," he added.

As far back as April members of Fingal County Council wrote to then Transport Minister Leo Varadkar to say that they would not accept a BRT as a replacement for Metro North.

Independent Councillor Paul Mulville wrote to current Minister Paschal Donohoe to highlight the importance of Metro North to the region.

Mr Donohoe's private secretary wrote a reply to the councillor saying that BRT would not replace any rail- based options because "a higher capacity solution is required in the long term".

The government is to choose which transport option will get the green light by next summer.

hnews@herald.ie


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