Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Dublin Senator Darragh O’Brien has raised concerns that the revised Metro North plan will result in a huge reduction in capacity for little savings.
The North Dublin Senator has described the plan as a poor alternative to the original Metro North plans that will see capacity reduced by 40 to 67% for a saving of just €460m over a ten year period.
He has also raised questions about the Government’s real commitment to the plan, given that they broke a firm promise to progress Metro North in the lifetime of this Government.
“This seems to me to be nothing more than yet another election stunt. What we are looking at is a significantly scaled back version of Metro North without the savings to justify a massive reduction in capacity. Essentially it is an Airport Luas that uses smaller stations designed for small tram carriages that cannot accommodate the huge increase in passengers promised by original plans,” said Senator O’Brien.
“The entire potential of this project has been compromised. There is no excuse for trading in capacity for 17,000 passengers (per hour per direction) for 12,000 passengers and a saving of €460m over 10 years. The original Metro North proposals with larger stations and larger rail carriages had the potential to accommodate 20,000 passengers per hour per direction to facilitate population growth. The trains would have been bigger, faster and far more adaptable to the changing needs of the city. In short for less than 20% saving over 10 years, the Minister is trading 42% passenger capacity and the option to expand future passenger capacity by 67%.
“The people of Dublin will be extremely sceptical about this plan. Yet again on the eve of an election, we have Fine Gael and Labour promising to deliver Metro North after taking absolutely no action over the past nearly five years to deliver on shovel-ready plans for the project. Now they are announcing a scaled back version with no business case analysis and that has yet to go through the planning process. This is despite the fact that the original Metro North plan had a comprehensive business analysis, planning permission and a railway order. It is difficult not to see this as yet another empty election promise.”