Wednesday 3 February 2010

Metro North hearings put back to March so public can view changes

AN BORD Pleanála hearings into Metro North, the proposed underground rail link between St Stephen’s Green and Swords, have been suspended, at least until March.

The suspension is to allow the public and interested parties to review changes to three aspects of the project’s design. The changes cover the Mater hospital, Ballymun and Seatown stops.

The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) said the changes to the hospital stop will include a second entrance, accessed from Eccles Street, within the proposed national paediatric hospital.

The agency said this enabled it to move emergency ventilation fans, part of the station structure and emergency escape routes a further 20m away from the Mater Private hospital.

Changes to the Ballymun and Seatown stops were more minor in nature, but utilised lands not identified in the original environmental impact assessment.

The changes can be viewed on the RPA website and at its officers and at An Bord Pleanála.

The deadline for submissions on the changes is next Monday.

Detailed plans for the scheme first went on display in September 2008. The inquiry also recently heard that compensation claims which go to arbitration may not be settled before Metro North is operational, currently thought to be 2015 at the earliest.

Irish Times

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