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The case against Metro North - is there one?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭runway16


    BrianD wrote: »
    These plans date from years ago - they have been studied and analysed ad infinitum! We have been talking, analysing, planning and generally bitching and whinging about them for years now - time to just get on with it and build them.

    Anyone can state there has been no planning or analysis - but that just isnt true. How many agencies have been doing just that for years now? All these plans were borne out of a "platform for change" document that was published years ago after extensive Planning and analysis. How much more of it do we need to do exactly?

    Well funny you should mention it. the platform for change document 2001 mainly refers to historical directives. No mention of Metro North. In fact it states under rail "Construction of a heavy-rail link to the airport, subject to further review".

    It makes lofty references to proper land use and how it should relate to transport usage (either public transport or road). As we know, sustainable land use and the national spatial plan went out the window with the boom. We saw nothing but low rise sprawl in nth. Dublin/Meath/Kildare and relative low density developments within Dublin proper. No development that would lend it's support to rail transport.

    Come transport 21 in 2005 and hey presto Metro North and West arrive. Bing!

    As for the long term. The NTA says "Work is well underway on preparing a new transport strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow) for the period up to 2030 (“2030 Vision”). The Strategy will be inextricably linked to sustainable land use planning and will be directed by the economic, social, cultural and environmental needs of the people of the Greater Dublin Area." This is good news but the planning and analysis is still in the pipeline.

    So what little planning that has been done seems to have been ignored (with the notable exception of the roads).[/QUOTE]

    OK, Brian. I appreciate that your feelings on the subject are just as strong as mine are, just yours are against as opposed to mine which are decidely for. So, I have a simple question.

    In the context of the successful implementation of two Luas lines (ignoring the fact that they aren't joined), why do you think that Metro North wont work or wont be successful?

    Let's bring the debate into focus. We see a lot of (understanable) anger about planning etc in the country. But lets ignore all that for a moment and just reflect on a simple question - will this development work?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 ✭✭✭BrianD


    runway16 wrote: »
    Well funny you should mention it. the platform for change document 2001 mainly refers to historical directives. No mention of Metro North. In fact it states under rail "Construction of a heavy-rail link to the airport, subject to further review".

    It makes lofty references to proper land use and how it should relate to transport usage (either public transport or road). As we know, sustainable land use and the national spatial plan went out the window with the boom. We saw nothing but low rise sprawl in nth. Dublin/Meath/Kildare and relative low density developments within Dublin proper. No development that would lend it's support to rail transport.

    Come transport 21 in 2005 and hey presto Metro North and West arrive. Bing!

    As for the long term. The NTA says "Work is well underway on preparing a new transport strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow) for the period up to 2030 (“2030 Vision”). The Strategy will be inextricably linked to sustainable land use planning and will be directed by the economic, social, cultural and environmental needs of the people of the Greater Dublin Area." This is good news but the planning and analysis is still in the pipeline.

    So what little planning that has been done seems to have been ignored (with the notable exception of the roads).

    OK, Brian. I appreciate that your feelings on the subject are just as strong as mine are, just yours are against as opposed to mine which are decidely for. So, I have a simple question.

    In the context of the successful implementation of two Luas lines (ignoring the fact that they aren't joined), why do you think that Metro North wont work or wont be successful?

    Let's bring the debate into focus. We see a lot of (understanable) anger about planning etc in the country. But lets ignore all that for a moment and just reflect on a simple question - will this development work?[/QUOTE]

    I'm not sure who's quoting who in the post above!!

    I have absolutely no doubt it will be welcomed by those living in the area (who wouldn't) but I think the project is too costly for what it will be delivered. You're going to end up with an expensive metro going under largely two story houses. How is this going to change this? Demolish large sections of the north city and build apartment blocks?

    I'm not sure why there is a fascination in building a metro to Swords. Swords has a pop. of over 33,000, Tallaght has 92,000 but only got light rail. Finglas has 31,000 approx ang gets zip. Serving the airport is welcome but not a priority.

    I'm all for sustainable rail travel. I think that the Metro money would be better diverted to other rail or light rail projects in the city. Unfortunately, upgrading existing lines (heavy or light) isn't as 'sexy' as building a metro (especially for politicians). However, there are areas of the city that would benefit from enhanced rail services or new light rail lines.

    Others will argue that Fingal area is the area where there will be a large population increase (all things going well with the economy). However, this is likely to be dispersed like existing populations meaning that you'll have a large amount of people travelling to the terminus and you'll have heavily loading from the terminus inwards.

    For those who believe that this line is future proofing, I think this project at the current stage of the development of Dublin city is very premature. It will be a long time before we can reach the demand that it will be capable of satisfying from day one. If we were a wealthy nation (or a communist) one I would say build it but it's not necessary here at this point in time. That's not to say that the transport solution for Swords is adequate - it needs upgrading and there are ways of satisfing this in the interim.


  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭runway16


    BrianD wrote: »
    OK, Brian. I appreciate that your feelings on the subject are just as strong as mine are, just yours are against as opposed to mine which are decidely for. So, I have a simple question.

    In the context of the successful implementation of two Luas lines (ignoring the fact that they aren't joined), why do you think that Metro North wont work or wont be successful?

    Let's bring the debate into focus. We see a lot of (understanable) anger about planning etc in the country. But lets ignore all that for a moment and just reflect on a simple question - will this development work?

    I'm not sure who's quoting who in the post above!!

    I have absolutely no doubt it will be welcomed by those living in the area (who wouldn't) but I think the project is too costly for what it will be delivered. You're going to end up with an expensive metro going under largely two story houses. How is this going to change this? Demolish large sections of the north city and build apartment blocks?

    I'm not sure why there is a fascination in building a metro to Swords. Swords has a pop. of over 33,000, Tallaght has 92,000 but only got light rail. Finglas has 31,000 approx ang gets zip. Serving the airport is welcome but not a priority.

    I'm all for sustainable rail travel. I think that the Metro money would be better diverted to other rail or light rail projects in the city. Unfortunately, upgrading existing lines (heavy or light) isn't as 'sexy' as building a metro (especially for politicians). However, there are areas of the city that would benefit from enhanced rail services or new light rail lines.

    Others will argue that Fingal area is the area where there will be a large population increase (all things going well with the economy). However, this is likely to be dispersed like existing populations meaning that you'll have a large amount of people travelling to the terminus and you'll have heavily loading from the terminus inwards.

    For those who believe that this line is future proofing, I think this project at the current stage of the development of Dublin city is very premature. It will be a long time before we can reach the demand that it will be capable of satisfying from day one. If we were a wealthy nation (or a communist) one I would say build it but it's not necessary here at this point in time. That's not to say that the transport solution for Swords is adequate - it needs upgrading and there are ways of satisfing this in the interim.[/QUOTE]

    But it isnt just about Swords Brian. There is an entire of the city, a whole corridor, unserved by rail. The metro also has a University, a large Hospital, and a Large airport on its route that neither of the existing Luas lines offers. Dont underestimate the amount of traffic an airport can generate. It just needs the option to be in place.

    Additionally, the Park and Ride site at Lisenhall couldnt be more perfectly placed. If you use the M1 in the mornings, you will know that it is at this point where the traffic inbound just stops. There will be huge incentive to dump the car right there and use metro.

    While I appreciate you are not outright opposed to some form of transit along this northern corridor, I think the concept of this being "sexier" for politicians is way over done. They would talk up anything, be it Metro, Luas, a fancier bus or whatever.

    I am not listening to Politicians for guidance on whether I think this is worthwhile or not - i'm drawing on my own experience of living in other cities of a similar size to this who have vastly superior systems to what we have and seeing what it does for those cities.

    I also am not so convinced by arguements that this could be better spent on existing lines. Electrifying the Maynooth line for example wont do a single thing for capacity - and in any case, that is already provided for in plans for DART underground so that it can make use of the underground portion of the route.

    If we scrap this now, we will spend another 40 years talking about what should replace it. And in the end, we will probably revert to the original metro idea anyway.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 ✭✭✭DWCommuter


    runway16 wrote: »
    If we scrap this now, we will spend another 40 years talking about what should replace it. And in the end, we will probably revert to the original metro idea anyway.

    If we scrap this now we will for sure spend another 40 years talking about it, but we will not revert to the original metro idea. We will be embracing the latest ideas from our European neighbours and reinventing the wheel in Dublin just like we have done it for the past 40 odd ****ing years.

    Metro, Dart, RPA, CIE, luas - all prime examples of reinventing the wheel in Dublin.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    runway16 wrote: »
    Well funny you should mention it. the platform for change document 2001 mainly refers to historical directives. No mention of Metro North. In fact it states under rail "Construction of a heavy-rail link to the airport, subject to further review".

    Sorry, but you're talking a lot out of context in that one paragraph.

    Metro North as a metro -- about the same route or different degrees different -- is one of the routes given in A Platform for Change under "THEME 1 - METRO/SEGREGATED LRT".
    Also, "STRATEGY A" has Luas and Metro to the airport. Luas going to Swords via the airport and metro to the airport as a branch off a Finglas & orbital metro.

    The mention of "construction of a heavy rail link to Dublin Airport, subject to further review" is only a summery of Irish Rail's / CIE's Dublin Suburban Rail Strategic Review.
    runway16 wrote: »
    Come transport 21 in 2005 and hey presto Metro North and West arrive. Bing!

    Not by name, but Metro West and different versions of Metro North and/or Luas to the airport were all in the above mentioned and linked to document.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 ✭✭✭DWCommuter


    A Platform for change is an historical document. It belongs in the national library.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    A Platform for change is an historical document. It belongs in the national library.

    Indeed it is a historic document now, was just pointing out how Metro North and West were not just picked out of the air.

    Also, you should always look at was was been planned as well as what you want or think should be planned.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,842 ✭✭✭Van.Bosch


    Does anyone know if ABP are still expected to make their decision this week? It was due end of Oct but no word so far? They could hardly put it back again, they have had it for 2 years. If there is some political reason for not announcing then I wish someone would just come out and say it's being built or it's not. I think it's a great project but get the feeling that it's been canned already


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 ✭✭✭BluntGuy


    Van.Bosch wrote: »
    Does anyone know if ABP are still expected to make their decision this week? It was due end of Oct but no word so far? They could hardly put it back again, they have had it for 2 years. If there is some political reason for not announcing then I wish someone would just come out and say it's being built or it's not. I think it's a great project but get the feeling that it's been canned already

    Oh they could. Look at the flimsy reasons we've had so far which all have seemed to revolve around the general theme of incompetence (RPA not supplying enough information, ABP consultant not completing report in time etc.)

    And even if ABP don't hold this up, you can be sure there's a strong chance the government will. No one in the government has come out and said, "this project is going ahead, we shall supply the money for it, and it will be up and running by 20XX" - okay you have a few spouters like Cuffe and Ryan, but none of the big players have come out and wholeheartedly supported it. It's all been ifs, buts and maybes.

    We shall see what they're up to once the railway order is granted, they can't hide behind planning forever. Their current attitude is very suspicious though. It feels like there is no intent, no commitment, no genuine desire for this metro beyond soundbites and PR.

    Interesting article here;

    http://www.businessandfinance.ie/bf/2010/11/interviewsandfeaturesnovember2010/metroendoftheline


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    It has been approved, with many conditions.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,660 ✭✭✭jd


    http://www.pleanala.ie/news/na0003/na0003.htm
    However the Board decided not to approve certain elements of the scheme in the
    area north of Swords (namely the depot and ancillary facilities at Belinstown, and
    proposed line and stop at Lissenhall, as further detailed in condition 1) for the
    following reasons and considerations

    ..
    The scheme is approved from the Estuary Stop in Swords to St Stephen’s
    Green.
    ..
    (i) a re-located depot (and associated infrastructure) which shall be
    situated in the general vicinity of Dardistown, that is between the
    M50 motorway and Dublin Airport.

    Conditions here
    http://www.pleanala.ie/news/na0003/KNA0003.pdf


  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭Roryhy


    monument wrote: »
    It has been approved, with many conditions.

    Source?


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,402 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Truncating at Estuary should reduce construction and land costs enough to make up for having to build the depot on what I imagine would be more expensive land further south.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,842 ✭✭✭Van.Bosch


    but was the park and ride not meant to be at lissenhal? I thought this was one of the key aspects of the plan?


  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭Roryhy


    http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1028/metro.html

    The multi-billion-euro Metro North project in Dublin has been given the green light by An Bord Pleanála.

    The rail link from St Stephen's Green to Swords now faces final approval from the Government on a cost benefit analysis.
    The infrastructure project is described as the biggest in the history of the State and the ruling from An Bord Pleanála runs to 1,700 pages.
    The board has given permission for an underground track from St Stephen's Green to north of Ballymun where it will cross the M50 on a flyover.
    It will go underground at Dublin Airport stopping at a centralised transport hub before going overground again to Swords with some of the line on stilts due to the undulating landscape.
    The board has eliminated two stops at Belinstown and Seatown and ordered the relocation of a depot and park-and-ride facility.
    The board wants the park-and-ride facility and depot moved from Belinstown which is north of Swords because of the risk of flooding.
    The overall 18km line has therefore been shortened by 2.3km.
    The final plan for the underground section at Ballymun and the stop at O'Connell street also need to be finalised.
    But it is the proposed 'big dig' in the city centre, involving moving statues like the O'Connell monument and closing off part of St Stephen's Green, that is causing concern to some businesses.
    Enabling works on underground utility lines is due to start next spring while the construction itself is scheduled to last from 2012 to 2016.
    The overall estimated cost has varied from €5bn at the height of the boom to €3bn now with reduced construction costs.
    Supporters point out that because it will be a public-private partnership the initial cost will be taken by the private operator and the Rail Procurement Agency have will have to make a final decision between two consortiums - Celtic Metro Group and Metro Express - in coming month.
    A number of economic studies have been carried out by the RPA with the latest showing that for every €1 spent on the Metro there will be €2 back in terms of overall economic benefit.
    Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has said the Metro North project should be postponed while Transport Minister Noel Dempsey has said it will go ahead subject to a final cost analysis.
    The RPA says the line will be able to carry 20,000 passengers an hour with 10km underground providing a journey time 20 minutes from Dublin Airport.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,402 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Van.Bosch wrote: »
    but was the park and ride not meant to be at lissenhal? I thought this was one of the key aspects of the plan?

    One of the three was to be at Bellinstown.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    MYOB wrote: »
    Truncating at Estuary should reduce construction and land costs enough to make up for having to build the depot on what I imagine would be more expensive land further south.

    Land costs will be based on current use -- and most of the land between the M50 and Dublin Airport is fields.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,303 ✭✭✭dowlingm


    MYOB - looks like MN is going to use what was going to be MW's depot. If it's built at Sillogue then in theory the first couple of km of MW would be built from MN budget.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 ✭✭✭BrianD


    But it isnt just about Swords Brian. There is an entire of the city, a whole corridor, unserved by rail. The metro also has a University, a large Hospital, and a Large airport on its route that neither of the existing Luas lines offers. Dont underestimate the amount of traffic an airport can generate. It just needs the option to be in place.

    Additionally, the Park and Ride site at Lisenhall couldnt be more perfectly placed. If you use the M1 in the mornings, you will know that it is at this point where the traffic inbound just stops. There will be huge incentive to dump the car right there and use metro.

    While I appreciate you are not outright opposed to some form of transit along this northern corridor, I think the concept of this being "sexier" for politicians is way over done. They would talk up anything, be it Metro, Luas, a fancier bus or whatever.

    Well it kind of is about Swords as at least there's an opportunity to bulk up the development there. We know that it won't be getting that much trade from Dublin Airport and unless we raze and rebuild most of the city south of the M50 it's potential usage within the M50 is limited.

    The irony about the park an rides is that it effectively destroys the metro. We have the sprawl beyond Swords who will want to use the metro. The majority of them will be direct to city passengers meaning that your trains are going to loaded from the terminus and vice versa. Given that a park and ride person will have to park, pay, get to station, board train, endure every stop to the centre it may be more attractive to remain in the comfort of their cars.

    Swords needs a better transport system but the answer isn't an over priced and over speced metro as proposed.

    I have travelled a lot and I'm really at a loss to find cities similar to Dublin that have better transport systems to Dublin. Having said, that I've been in quite a few where what they have works more efficiently than Dublin.

    Electrifying the Maynooth line for example wont do a single thing for capacity - and in any case, that is already provided for in plans for DART underground so that it can make use of the underground portion of the route.

    Why not? Along with electrification and upgrading would come more rolling stock and more frequent services.
    If we scrap this now, we will spend another 40 years talking about what should replace it. And in the end, we will probably revert to the original metro idea anyway.
    Well in 40 years, we may well be ready for it.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    BrianD wrote: »
    Well it kind of is about Swords as at least there's an opportunity to bulk up the development there.

    There, and Ballymun, at Northwood and west of it, between the airport and the M50, south of DCU and around other stops too.

    BrianD wrote: »
    We know that it won't be getting that much trade from Dublin Airport

    How do we know that?

    The stop at the airport is better positioned to attract airline passages and workers given that that route and there's population centres north and south of the airport compared to some other airport metros which terminate at the airports.

    BrianD wrote: »
    and unless we raze and rebuild most of the city south of the M50 it's potential usage within the M50 is limited.

    Depends on what you think the word limited means?

    BrianD wrote: »
    The irony about the park an rides is that it effectively destroys the metro. We have the sprawl beyond Swords who will want to use the metro.

    That lacks a sense of perspective.

    First, you're claiming that there is too little development within the M50 to support the metro but now you're saying that lesser access from the "sprawl beyond Swords" will kill the metro? :confused:

    Secondly, the plan seems to be to relocate the Park and Ride to the new terminus.
    BrianD wrote: »
    Given that a park and ride person will have to park, pay, get to station, board train, endure every stop to the centre it may be more attractive to remain in the comfort of their cars.

    The same can be said about many systems worldwide. It's a matter of choice. Some people will always chose their cars.

    Also, the Swords Express and other services could still offer some people direct services to the city centre if they remain attractive.
    BrianD wrote: »
    Swords needs a better transport system but the answer isn't an over priced and over speced metro as proposed.

    What is overpriced?

    What solution are you suggesting?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 ✭✭✭DWCommuter


    Its very hard to add anything negative to this debate because there is an obvious pro metro opinion. Why? Because its new, different and a step towards an alternative way of moving people along a corridor in Dublin. I'm not adversely against it per say, but I have a few reservations about it in the broader context of rail based public transport solutions for Dublin.

    I would support the thrust of what BrianD is saying and certainly wouldn't be critical of the points. There appears to be such a misguided appetite for a metro that it prevents anyone from looking at the bigger picture in a piece by piece approach. We are starting to see MN as some sort of panacea to Dublins public transport/traffic problems. We almost believe (maybe some do) that the city is doomed without it. I remember similar reactions when the Luas was first mooted. The luas is built now and its defined as a success. But we benchmark it against decades of poor public transport standards. Effectively the luas is in itself just a cheaper, watered down version of what was originally proposed and really needed. Its a success because it competes against nothing successful. It is yet another offering in the desert that is public transport in Dublin. Herein lies the same problem with MN. As a city (indeed the entire country) we have been so starved of radical and effective public transport projects that we are prepared to accept and champion any rail based project that is proposed. This is very dangerous. But unfortunately, due to the piecemeal and populist approach this is where we find ourselves.

    On its own and without any definitive plan to extend a metro under the city to various other areas, MN looks like an expensive lesson in failure. And thats without thoroughly examining the need for it and its role in developing transport links in a city that lacks shape and has employment/commuting habits which are bonkers.

    If its built it will be yet another isolated example of state indecision and dick swinging, because its promoters don't care, have no clue about planning effective public transport for Dublin and were just trying to chase developer greed. They now find themselves in over their heads and may leave it to the next administration to fall into their trap.

    If ABP had, today, approved a metro extending north south and west segregated from road traffic and penetrating known traffic blackspots/routes, then I'd be all for it. But whats on the table now is purely political and nothing else. Don't cod yourself that it will be expanded. And I can guarantee that DART Underground gets the chop, which minimises even more the effectiveness of this lone metro line.

    Finally (I love sticking my neck out:D) if its built, the impact on road traffic along its route will be almost non-existent because the fundamental problems with GDA traffic have not been addressed. But hey, if they build it, people will flock to it and a few more bus routes will lose passengers.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    Double Take with Frank McDonald and Ciarán Cuffe

    It’s time to cut our cloth on these mega transport schemes and the Dart Underground offers far better value, writes FRANK McDONALD

    THERE ARE two rail-based “mega projects” in the Government’s revised capital spending programme – and one of them surely has to go. Given that Ireland is now teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, we simply can’t afford to build both Metro North and Dart Underground.

    These immensely expensive schemes were conceived in the white heat of the economic boom, when we thought we had money to burn, whereas Luas – a relatively modest project – was planned in the early 1990s before the authorities had entirely lost the run of themselves.

    We have not been told how much Metro North would cost, because that’s still a State secret.

    All we know – only because the figure wasn’t sufficiently blacked out from a document released under the Freedom of Information Act – is that an estimate in 2004 put it at €4.58 billion.

    This eye-watering price-tag may have fallen since as a result of the general decline in tender costs. But whatever the figure is today, all we would be getting for it is a single 18km line – 10km of it underground – running between St Stephen’s Green and Belinstown, north of Swords.

    Dart Underground, on the other hand, is a much more strategic project that would knit existing suburban rail services into a regional network by linking Heuston Station with the Docklands, via the Civic Offices in Wood Quay, St Stephen’s Green and Pearse Station, Westland Row.

    Furthermore, this project – estimated at €2.5 billion – would cater for 67 million passenger journeys annually (183,000 per day), compared with Metro North’s 34 million (93,000 per day). As anyone can see, this works out at twice as many passengers for half the capital cost.

    Of course, all of these projections were made during the boom, when it seemed as if everything would continue to rise – including population growth and transport demand. But even if the figures have fallen, Dart Underground offers better value for scarce money than Metro North.

    As far as we know, based on the limited data available, the metro line had a (very low) cost-benefit ratio of 1:1 – in other words, it would merely break even economically. It is highly improbable that this is still the case, given the much higher cost of borrowing Ireland now faces.

    Furthermore, one of the key assumptions that underpinned the project is that there would be enormous levels of development and population growth along the corridor that Metro North would serve, particularly in Fingal. This is also unlikely to be realised any time soon.

    Construction of Metro North would also have devastating impacts on the city centre. The northwest quadrant of St Stephen’s Green would be be turned into a huge hole in the ground and all the statues and fine monuments on O’Connell Street would have to be taken down.

    By coincidence, another 18km public transport route is now being promoted by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council – a dedicated bus rapid transit route from (close to) Sydney Parade Dart station to Sandyford, running via St Vincent’s hospital, RTÉ and UCD in Belfield – known as the Blue Line.

    The big difference with Metro North is that the Blue Line’s estimated cost is a snip, at €33 million. And it is for that very reason that this modest proposal is not being included in the plans for Dublin being drafted by the National Transport Authority; it is seen as subversive of the mega projects.

    The time has come, however, to cut our cloth according to the measure.

    Frank McDonald is Environment Editor

    ***

    Metro North, a vital piece of infrastructure 10 years in the planning, will benefit the city for generations to come , writes CIARÁN CUFFE

    NOW IS the time to invest in public transport that will serve the capital city well into the next century. Metro North will run from St Stephen’s Green to the airport and on to Swords. The line will have a final design capacity of roughly 20,000 passengers per hour, based on one 90m train every two minutes. Figures of €5 billion to €15 billion have been thrown out as the cost for building Metro North. These are way off the mark.

    Assuming An Bord Pleanála approves the project, the real cost will be less than €3 billion. The exact figure isn’t publicly available because the State remains in a competitive tendering process. Construction prices are good value in today’s environment. Costs will be spread over a number of years so that they do not impact immediately on the balance sheet.

    The Government has secured loan funding from the European Investment Bank for €500 million to part finance the project. An economic analysis for the project yielded a benefit-to-cost ratio of two to one, so for every euro the State invests, it will get back two. During construction, 4,000 direct construction jobs will be created as well as 2,000 indirect jobs.

    We face the twin challenges of climate change and energy security in the decades ahead. It is crucial that we take a long-term view of our public transport and planning needs. In our towns and cities, public transport will have an increasingly important role to play as our communities and workplaces are located closer to rail and bus corridors. Examining a map of Dublin, many residents in north Dublin have no rail option.

    For Fingal, the country’s fastest growing area, a fixed rail connection linking Swords, Dublin airport, Ballymun, the Mater hospital and the city centre, makes sense.

    Together with Dart Underground, Metro North will be a vital backbone to an integrated public transport system for Dublin encompassing commuter rail, light rail and bus. One of the aims of Smarter Travel, the Government’s transport policy is to reduce the number of car-based commuting trips. With annual passenger journeys projected at more than 30 million, Metro North will play its part in this. A failure to balance the investment in road infrastructure with comparable investment in high-quality public transport will see a return to a gridlocked M50 in years to come.

    Metro North, a vital piece of infrastructure 10 years in the planning, will benefit the city of Dublin and its inhabitants for generations to come. It represents integrated transport and land-use planning.

    Daniel Burnham, the American planner who produced the Chicago Plan in the 19th century, once said: “Make no little plans, they have no courage to stir men’s blood and probably will not be realised.

    “Aim high in life and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram, once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency . . . think big.”

    Now is the time to aim high for Dublin.

    Ciarán Cuffe is Green Party TD for Dún Laoghaire and Minister of State for Sustainable Transport and Travel.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/1028/1224282143901.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,673 ✭✭✭✭senordingdong


    Still abit unsure about the route.
    Wouldn't it be better to build it through areas that are already heavily populated instead of sending to a comparitivly empty place, hoping for future development around it?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,361 ✭✭✭mgmt


    I don't trust the journey times. 10 stops in 20minutes to the airport :rolleyes:


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,402 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    mgmt wrote: »
    I don't trust the journey times. 10 stops in 20minutes to the airport :rolleyes:

    Electric train sets on an enclosed network, they can accelerate far more than diesel trains or the Luas can get away with in the city and have no level crossings or other train services to interface with.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,361 ✭✭✭mgmt


    mgmt wrote: »
    I don't trust the journey times. 10 stops in 20minutes to the airport :rolleyes:

    Also, metro west is estimated to carry 36million passengers per annum, metro north 34million. Why not build metro west first?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 ✭✭✭BluntGuy


    mgmt wrote: »
    Also, metro west is estimated to carry 36million passengers per annum, metro north 34million. Why not build metro west first?

    Metro West, I remember being 20 million before. :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,905 ✭✭✭Aard


    That 36m pax pa is its capacity, as I understand it. Actual passanger estimates do not seem to be on the RPA site. Based purely on common sense, however, I would think that there are far more people wanting to go from Swords, DUB, and Ballymun into town, than through the suburbs, even if it does eventually go to the airport.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,637 ✭✭✭AngryLips


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    Its very hard to add anything negative to this debate because there is an obvious pro metro opinion.

    Can't agree with you more. It's a shame because I think everyone contributing to this thread shares a keen interest in public transport in Dublin.

    What's clear to me is that Dublin Underground on its own will result in a far more integrated network than Metro North on its own.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭Cool Mo D


    mgmt wrote: »
    I don't trust the journey times. 10 stops in 20minutes to the airport :rolleyes:

    Sounds about right to me. 2 minutes a stop is about average for a metro system, all around the world, as long as the stops are fairly close.

    It's an average speed of 30 km/h.


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