Plans for the extension of a proposed Luas link to Bray are underway, and a decision on where to locate a new terminus will come down to residents' demand, according to Claire Falkiner, Project Manager with the Rail Procurement Agency.
The already confirmed new green line extension, known as Luas Line B2, will run from Cherrywood to Fassaroe, with possible stops on the way including St. Colmcille's, Stonebridge Road, Crinken Lane, Wilford, Old Conna and Fassaroe. A park and ride facility is expected to be included in the Fassaroe development.
Whether there will be a spur to a proposed new DART station or alternatively to the existing station at Bray remains undecided, and is still a matter subject to further public consultation.
While progress is being made with regard to the plans, the extension is not expected to be complete until 2015, and the projected cost of the 6km project is not known as of yet.
Arguments in favour of bringing the extension to the existing DART station include the possibility of attracting more business and tourism to the area, while arguments against include the congestion that some feel the town will suffer as a result of poor parking facilities.
Ms. Falkiner has remarked that opposition is inevitable to whatever decision is made. With a decision on the route expected to be made in the Autumn, the people of Bray have vastly differing views on which direction they feel the plans should take.
Ann Murdiff, from Mountainview Drive, is resolute that the extension should come to the existing DART station in Bray. It would be more beneficial to the town' she said. You can just park your car and get on it. It would be more likely to bring shoppers to the town.'
Ann and her family were among the first users of the existing DART line over 20 years ago. People said then that it would cause congestion, but it brought more people in. If the new line goes elsewhere then Bray could become a ghost-town.'
Sinead Murdiff, also from Mountainview Drive, disagrees. A new station at Woodbrook would prevent congestion down by the beach' she said. They could build new, proper parking, as opposed to the haphazard parking facilities at the existing station.'
Sinead also remarked that it would make sense to extend the Luas to the proposed site of the new town centre.
Robert Hargan, from Ledwidge Crescent, is a strong supporter of the potential Woodbrook route. It would be easier to get around, it gets very crowded in the town and the extension to Woodbrook might take some of the traffic off the road.'
Shane Surpless, of Connolly's shoe shop on Bray's main street, is in favour of a route coming in to the town and ending at the station itself.
It would bring people into the town hopefully' he said, adding there isn't much parking available at the moment, but the Luas has to be a positive thing really.'
Bray man Ben O'Brien is in agreement with Mr. Surpless, saying that a local spur would be a great advantage. The closer it comes to the town the better' said Ben. It would be handy for people getting off the DART, plus people know exactly where it is. It's just more convenient for everybody in Bray.'
Already having had the chance to offer their opinions on the issue at a meeting in the Royal Hotel, members of the public have until June 29 to make submissions to the Rail Procurement Agency on the proposed Luas route.