Ten years ago Fianna Fáil made a huge mistake by not linking up the Luas lines in the city centre. Now the Government is about to make the same mistake by not linking the Luas Docklands extension to the existing Docklands train station, Fine Gael Dublin West TD and Enterprise, Trade & Employment Spokesman Leo Varadkar TD has said.
“Commuters are still scratching their heads about the Government’s decision not to link the red and green Luas lines. This mistake is now being rectified at the cost of millions of euros. But Fianna Fáil is about to make the same mistake in the Docklands. The new Luas Docklands extension will not link up with the existing Iarnród Éireann Docklands train station. Once again Fianna Fáil is showing that it cannot learn from its mistakes.
“The Government could have provided a valuable terminus in the Docklands by providing a Luas stop at the Docklands train station. This would have provided a direct Luas link from the Docklands station to Connolly Station, O’Connell Street, Heuston Station and Tallaght. Yet the proposed Docklands Luas stop will be some 350 metres away from the Docklands train station.
“In response to a Parliamentary Question which I tabled, Transport Minister Noel Dempsey confirmed that the Luas extension from Connolly to the Docklands will not serve the suburban train station at Spencer Dock. The Docklands train station is the terminus for a large number of commuter train services from west Dublin and will be the terminus for future services from Dunboyne and Navan.
“The failure to link Docklands train station to the Luas is total madness and I am sure that an engineering solution can be found. The result of this decision is that Docklands Train Station will not be used to its full potential until the underground inter-connector is built in ten years’ time. Docklands Train Station is convenient for people working in the IFSC, but is more than 20 minutes’ walk from other employment hubs. Ironically, Minister Dempsey’s own Meath constituents will lose out under this plan because they will have to wait another ten years for an integrated commuter rail service to Dublin.
“Minister Dempsey must urgently review this crazy decision. Dublin commuters already have to face traffic gridlock, the M50 car park, the insanity of the Mad Cow, an inadequate bus network, and the prospect of a congestion charge. To build a Luas almost half a kilometre from an existing train station is a further insult.”
Please find attached the Parliamentary Question to Minister Dempsey.
Light Rail Project.
230. Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Transport if the Luas extension from Connolly Station to the Docklands will not incorporate a stop at the Docklands Train Station, which is a terminus for suburban rail services from Dublin 15 and the proposed Dunboyne spur; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12925/08]
Minister for Transport (Deputy Noel Dempsey):
The Luas extension to the Point Depot, currently under construction, will include a stop at Spencer Dock. This is situated approximately 350 metres from Iarnród Éireann’s existing station at Docklands. The Luas stop is located to allow for integration with both Iarnród Éireann suburban services using the Docklands station and with the new interconnector station to be constructed in the area under Transport 21.