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Talks held about extending Dart to Wicklow town

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Wicklow County Council has held discussions with Irish Rail over the possibility of extending the DART to Wicklow town.

The elected members of Wicklow Municipal District received a presentation at Monday's monthly meeting on NTA projects planned for the area, which included discussions on bringing the Dart to Wicklow.

Wicklow County Council is currently carrying out a review of the GDA Transport Strategy, which will determine which projects are selected for funding.

Irish Rail also has plans for the Dart+ Coastal route, from Drogheda in the north to Greystones, as part of the Dart+ Programme.

Senior Engineer, Michael Flynn said: 'Our TDs were given a presentation by the NTA on the potential to bring the Dart to Wicklow town.

'Irish Rail are also looking at battery electric trains and have made a commitment to purchase 600 of them from 2024 onwards. The trains could run on electricity to Greystones and then they operate on a battery to Wicklow town and back,' he said.

Director of Services Colm Lavery said: 'We have already submitted strong views and proposals into the consultation process. We have had a meeting with Irish Rail and agreed to continue to liaise with them as the project rolls out. We will continue to make a case for the Dart and the electrification of the line from Greystones to Wicklow. Battery electric trains provide a solution to Wicklow town and back.'

There are also plans to construct a new footbridge connecting the Port Access Road to Wicklow Train Station.

Mr Flynn said: 'If the Dart does come to Wicklow then maybe there will be other needs to what is currently being sought. If the Dart requires addition modifications, then we need to plan now if the Dart is going to come. The starting point is to have thorough engagement with Irish Rail and the NTA.'

Cllr Paul O'Brien said: 'Senior citizens still have difficulties at the train station because there is no lift over the tracks. Maybe that is something that could be looked at.'

Cllr Shay Cullen said; 'The possibility of a Dart from Greystones to Wicklow is something we have to get into the transport strategy. It would be monumental if we could achieve it.'

Cllr Gail Dunne felt Wicklow has been losing out on the provision of train services compared to other areas.

'The Dart to Wicklow town will be a game changer if it can be done. We can make a submission as a group. Each day there are six trains going to Dublin from Wicklow, while you have 30 trains coming from Drogheda. The Dart would take pressure of the N11 and would be massive for the town,' he said.

Cllr John Snell said: 'The Dart to Wicklow town is very necessary. There is a large number of people from north Wicklow who are employed in east Wicklow, who would use the Dart if they could. A lot of the focus is on the amount of traffic on the N11 heading north, but there is plenty of traffic coming toward the south as well.'


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