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So what are the six major transport plans for the Northside?

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Luas Line D2

Luas Line D2

Drumcondra to Swords

Drumcondra to Swords

Rail and Luas line from Cabra to Swords

Rail and Luas line from Cabra to Swords

30KMs of Bus Rapid from Swords to city

30KMs of Bus Rapid from Swords to city

Metro North to Swords

Metro North to Swords

DART Spur link up

DART Spur link up

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Luas Line D2

THE six detailed plans for providing for North Dublin's growing transport needs range from a revamped Metro North to a Bus Rapid Transit Network.

The Fingal region is one of the most poorly served parts of Dublin in Transport terms with no rail link to Swords - a town with a population in excess of 40,000 people and Dublin Airport.

Public transport systems have not kept up with the rapid rate of expansion in the area, with growing gridlock as a result.

Dublin Airport is particularly unusual as it is one of the few major airports at a European capital not to boast a rail link into the city centre.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe acknowledged that the Government "must plan for the longer term" when it comes to services in North Dublin.

"We must be cognisant of mistakes made in the past, but the timescale to plan projects normally takes ten years. Failure to meet demand will result in increasing car use," Mr Donohoe said as the six plans under consideration were announced.

The new improved Metro North is expected to cost €461m less than pervious versions but is still the most expensive option with an extimated spend of up to €2.86bn.

Running 16.6kms from St Stephen's Green to Swords through the airport, it would also carry the most passengers.

Thirteen stations would be built - fewer than previously planned and a proposed tunnel from Ballymun would be removed, reducing costs.

cheapest

Journey times would be just 27 minutes from Swords to the city centre.

The cheapest option would be the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which would feature 32.7km of dedicated roadway at a cost of between €250m to €330m.

It would be built in tandem with another BRT proposal, called Swiftway, and would link Ballymun, Phibsborough, Clongriffin, the Docklands and Connolly station.

Again, journey times are promised to be just 27 minutes, though campaigners in Swords would be disappointed that no rail link would be put in place if this option is selected.

Two heavy rail schemes are under consideration.

The first is a DART link from the existing line at Clongriffin to the airport and on to Swords estimated to cost between €600m and €790m.

Almost 20kms of new track would be laid, 2km of which would be underneath Dublin Airport and it would boast six stations, though journey time from Swords to the city would be 44 minutes.

Alternatively, a spur from the Irish Rail Maynooth line at Drumcondra through Ballymun to the airport and Swords could be built at a cost of up to €2.13bn.

This would also operate as part of the DART network, and involve 12.6km of rail line, with just over half laid in a tunnel running underneath Glasnevin Cemetery and eight stations would be provided.

Journey time is estimated at 28 minutes from Swords to the city centre.

Also being examined is an extension of the Luas line, which is currently being extended to Cabra.

Costing between €630m and €1.05bn, it would involve some 13.5km of line, 2.1km under Glasnevin Cemetery and 12 stations would be provided, one underground, and its believed journey time would be 45 minutes.

CONSULTATION

Finally, a project that would see both the DART link from Clongriffin to the Airport and the Luas link from Cabra to Swords would cost between €810m and €1.3bn.

A total of 14 stations would be built with passengers from Swords benefiting from a new Luas line, while airport passengers would have two options.

A public consultation process has now opened until January 19 next.

Consultants have been tasked with evaluating the merits of each proposal, including the likely costs.

The Government is to make a decision on which project will get the go-ahead next summer.

hnews@herald.ie


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