Minister Josepha Madigan has called for the National Transport Authority to re-commit itself to the long-stalled Metrolink South, as part of a new focus on improved public transport as Ireland emerges from Covid-19 restrictions.
The prospect of a return to previous levels of traffic gridlock in urban areas across Ireland appears inevitable whenever it becomes possible for people to return to the workplace.
The 2016 Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy proposed a new Metro South from the city to Sandyford. This project was ultimately delayed before being revived as part of a review by the National Transport Authority announced last November. This review is still ongoing.
“Covid-19 restrictions have made the last year very difficult in many ways, however I am sure that long-suffering commuters have not missed the traffic chaos that was a feature of daily life in our urban areas.
“As we emerge from these restrictions and with the vaccine programme well underway, we should not simply revert to normal and allow this traffic chaos to return. This is why it is vital that the NTA recommits to an upgraded Metrolink linking Sandyford to the city centre.
“Communities in suburban south Dublin are tired of traffic tail-backs and a public transport system that is already beyond capacity. Prior to Covid-19 many commuters were forced to watch packed buses and Luas trams pass them by without stopping each morning as there was no space on board. It was impacting people’s quality of life in a major way. When the time comes for people to return to the morning commute, it is vital that we commit to a modern and efficient public transport system for Dublin, including a metro line for southside suburbs.
“In addition, with the increase in new housing across south Dublin, improved transport infrastructure will be needed to support a growing population. UCD is also undergoing extensive growth and will need a modern public transport system to meet the needs of a larger student population. We must futureproof our public transport system. People have already waited long enough.
“The current review has been ongoing for a number of months at this stage. I am calling on the NTA to recommit to Metrolink South and to ensure the current review is completed as quickly as possible for the benefit of traffic-weary commuters.”