Thursday, 9 October 2008

Metro North 'vitally important'

IT WAS “vitally important” that the Metro North rail project should proceed, in spite of current economic difficulties, Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport chairman Frank Fahey said at Leinster House yesterday.

Chairing a discussion on Fingal County Council’s plans to develop a Metro North economic corridor, Mr Fahey said: “It is vitally important that Metro North continues on track, irrespective of the economic situation.”

Mr Fahey was speaking amid reports that the rail project may be significantly delayed and/or modified.

The committee heard a presentation from Fingal county manager David O’Connor on proposals for structural and economic development in an extended area surrounding Dublin airport.

“This is a 20- to 30-year plan,” Mr O’Connor said, adding that it envisaged a 37 per cent increase in employment in the region, focusing on high-value industry and fourth-level graduates.

Fine Gael transport spokesman Fergus O’Dowd said Metro North was an “essential piece of infrastructure”, adding that it took him two hours the previous day to travel to the Dáil from his home in Co Louth by road, whereas previously it used to take only one hour.

The Irish Times

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