Sunday 30 May 2010

Metro - Irish Times letter

Madam, – Your Editorial (May 17th) is eloquent on Metro North. However, instead of
jumping to untested conclusions, The Irish Times should be demanding to see the analysis that purports to show Metro North really is a good investment for Ireland. That is a highly debatable claim.

No cost benefit analysis was done of the proposed 18 km Metro from St Stephen’s Green to Belinstown, north of Swords. Some analysis was done of a much shorter 10 km route from Dublin City Centre to Dublin Airport.

That analysis is only available in heavily redacted form, but shows that the option was a bad investment. There is good reason to believe the current larger proposal is not viable either, not least given that the outlook for patronage has dropped sharply from that of the boom years when Metro North was conceived. In the present crisis there is no excuse for a failure to assess transparently a capital investment proposal costing about €5 billion, before deciding to build it.

Further, in demanding an efficient public transport system, you lament the cuts in Dublin bus numbers and Government bus subsidies. You should be aware that one-third of Metro North passengers will be taken from existing parallel bus routes, and those services will be cut accordingly. Metro North will therefore have a significant detrimental effect on the environmentally positive bus usage you support. – Yours, etc,


Irish Times

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