Dart Underground link faces Abandonment while Dublin Traffic Congestion Mounts
Media reports are in circulation that transport Minister Paschal Donohoe proposes to abandon Dart Underground, and proceed with a Luas connection to Dublin Airport
The information circulated yesterday that Dart Underground is to be abandoned means that Dublin will not achieve the integrated rail system needed for a progressive European city.
Dart Underground would link and allow intersection of the four radial rail routes around Dublin into an interconnected integrated and enhanced mass transit access to the city centre.
It has particular benefit for the Kildare commuter line which currently terminates at Heuston. It would allowed stations on this line, in which there has been extensive investment in enhanced track capacity, to become a major focus for future development as well as for feeder buses from surrounding catchment areas. It would also have significantly increased the capacity of public transport access to Docklands, which is due to become a location for major office schemes by a number of multinational investors with the recent granting of consent by An Bord Pleanala for a planning scheme.
Meanwhile newly published data shows the worsening congestion around Dublin.
According to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (new name for merged entities NRA and Rail procurement Agency) traffic on the M50 is now at its highest ever level, with 12,000 more cars every day, compared to 3 years ago. The TII also says that annual growth in traffic is 8-10%.
The TII is now giving overdue consideration to Travel Demand Management for the M50 ‘bypass’:
The M50 is the most heavily trafficked road in the country with in excess of 130,000 vehicles per day using several sections. The road was originally envisaged as a bypass route for strategic traffic around Dublin. However, following the economic growth that took place during its construction, the M50 is now located within the suburbs of Dublin and provides a range of functions over and above that expected of a strategic corridor.
The requirement for travel demand management, to reduce car based commuting in particular, was part of the planning consent for adding new lanes to the M50, which should already have been put in place Nationally it has been Government Policy since the adoption of the Department of Transport "Smarter Travel" strategy in 2009.
The Greater Dublin Area needs immediate measure through feeder buses, parking charges, and special action plans for larger employment locations and schools to reduce congestion.
However the future strategic planning of Dublin as a European city region needs Dart Underground as part of the essential switch needed form a car based to an efficient public transport based capital and city region.
For further information, please call:
Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce Tel: +353 87 241 1995
Ian Lumley, Heritage Officer, An Taisce Tel:+353 1 454 1786
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland