THE RAILWAY Procurement Agency (RPA) has announced its intention to proceed with Metro West by applying to An Bord Pleanála for a railway order for the orbital light rail line, which would connect Tallaght, Clondalkin and Blanchardstown.
The Luas-type project would link up with Metro North at Dardistown, south of Dublin airport.
According to the agency, it would “deliver substantial benefits to communities in west Dublin, providing a quality public transport system [and] employment opportunities”.
As with Metro North, no costings have been given for the project, nor has the agency provided any estimate of likely patronage on the line, which would connect areas not linked even by a bus service. Neither has any cost-benefit analysis been published.
No provision was made for Metro West in the Government’s revised €13 million capital spending plan to 2016, unveiled last July. But Metro North, which would link Swords with St Stephen’s Green, and the Dart underground from Heuston to Docklands are part of it.
The RPA said the Metro West light rail would begin at a new terminus in the median of Belgard Road, adjacent to the Institute of Technology Tallaght, and run on the same track bed as the existing Tallaght Luas line before branching off to Clondalkin.
It would serve Liffey Valley shopping centre and cross the river on a new bridge, continuing onwards to Porterstown and Blanchardstown, past the National Aquatic Centre, and looping around through Cappoge before ending at Dardistown.
The agency described Metro West as a key element of Transport 21, the Government’s investment framework published in November 2005, and said its railway order application “represents a significant milestone in the delivery of the project”.
From October 29th, the environmental impact statement will be on display at the offices of South Dublin and Fingal county councils, the RPA and An Bord Pleanála, and on www.dublinmetrowest.ie