Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Dublin Senator Darragh O’Brien has condemned the Government’s decision to shelve plans for the DART Underground, describing it as a ‘huge step backwards for Dublin’.
The North Dublin Senator has accused the Transport Minister of scraping the barrel to find any excuse to ditch the plans, in order to invest in small projects around the country to shore up votes.
“The DART Underground is an essential piece of infrastructure that would transform our public transport network, by radically increasing capacity, dramatically improving the customer experience, and finally allowing Dublin to compete with other capital cities in terms of public transport,” said Senator O’Brien.
“It is inexcusable that the Government is ditching these plans in what can only be seen as an entirely political and extremely short-sighted move. Instead of investing in a key piece of infrastructure that will ultimately result in a significant boost to our economy and put Dublin on the map in global terms, the Transport Minister has kicked the plans back to design stage using the flimsy excuse of costs. This is nothing more than an attempt at political cover to free the Government up to spend the money on small transport projects around the country in a vain attempt to salvage votes.
“The real question now is, how exactly does the Government intend to increase capacity in Dublin’s transport network? The DART Underground would treble capacity by linking all rail lines in the capital. This would finally put Dublin on the map in terms of public transport facilities and dramatically speed up travel from one side of the city to another. While I certainly welcome plans to extend the northern line to Balbriggan, this will do nothing to address the capacity issue and nothing to improve transport integration in Dublin.
“It is a huge mistake to ditch Dart Underground. There is no need to redesign these plans. It will cost the economy more in the long run. By not following through on a firm commitment to this project, this Government is holding Dublin back.”