Fingal County Council welcomes MetroLink announcementMarch 26, 2019
Fingal County Council has welcomed today’s announcement by the National Transport Authority and Transport Infrastructure Ireland on the Preferred Route for MetroLink, linking Swords to Charlemont.
The Council has also stressed the importance of ensuring that the project sticks to its proposed timelines and becomes operational as scheduled in 2027.
The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid, who led the calls for the Northern route to be prioritised, said today’s announcement would be well received by residents and businesses but any delays would not be tolerated.
“2027 has been given as the date MetroLink will become operational and it is now beholden on everybody involved in this process to ensure that deadline is met.
“Fingal is the top county from which workers flow into Dublin City and 72 per cent of those journeys are made by car. The longer we go without a Metro system, the longer the roads into and out of Dublin City will remain clogged up and that will inhibit the development of Fingal,” said Mr Reid.
The Council’s Director of Strategic Infrastructure and Planning, AnnMarie Farrelly, said the situation is now critical. “We have the vision and the plans to take full advantage of the many benefits that MetroLink will bring to Fingal and, in particular, Swords. Our 2017-2023 Development Plan has laid the roadmap for the strategic and sustainable development of the areas adjacent to the metro route and has the potential to deliver significant levels of housing choice and high-skilled employment opportunities from now to 2040. The development of these areas is contingent on the roll-out of MetroLink in a timely manner.”
Ms. Farrelly also expressed satisfaction with the decision not to elevate the track along the R132 in Swords and noted: “The concerns with respect to the potential negative impact of perceived and real inaccessibility issues to the stations and potential for significant community severance by the MetroLink corridor have been addressed at this point. Fingal will continue to work closely with the National Transport Authority and Transport Infrastructure Ireland and will engage with all the many elements that go towards delivering such key infrastructure.”
The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Anthony Lavin, said: “Today’s report states that the bulk of supportive submissions received in the wake of last year’s consultation process were from Fingal and acknowledges that the people of Fingal have been waiting a long time for this key services. Myself and my fellow councillors will continue to work on ensuring this vital piece of infrastructure for our county is delivered, and, even more importantly, delivered on time.”
MetroLink has real potential to deliver on Project Ireland 2040’s vision for future growth and development in Swords and in the wider Fingal area. Project Ireland 2040 identifies the exceptional connectivity of Swords by air, the road network and the proposed high capacity public transport nodes. This presents a prime opportunity for the development of Swords as a sustainable urban extension to the greater Dublin area, specifically with a focus on compact growth and infill development served by high-quality public transport with significant employment provision.
Fingal has laid the foundations for MetroLink by already facilitating opportunities for high density mixed use employment generating activity with a significant level of residential development along the route.
In anticipation of MetroLink coming, the Council has employed a number of policy responses to facilitate the long term sustainability of major high-quality employment and residential communities in Swords. Draft Masterplans for prominent parcels of land (Barrysparks & Crowscastle, Fosterstown and Estuary West) are currently subject to public consultation. These are located along the MetroLink route and the Masterplans seek to maximise the use of MetroLink stations as ‘Gateways’ into Swords.
Parallel to this is the redevelopment and regeneration of Main Street. This is a critical element in achieving the vision for Swords.
To this end, Fingal has been successful in it's Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) bid for the Sustainable Swords project. In the context of MetroLink and the proposed expansion of Swords, Sustainable Swords specifically aims to enhance the identity of the town centre through: the development of Swords Cultural Quarter (SCQ) and delivery of an enhanced accessible child-friendly public realm including new civic spaces and river walk in Swords Town Centre and promotion of core recreational and amenity spaces.
The development of Swords is dependent on the provision of MetroLink. The presence of four Metro Stations, as well as the upcoming BusConnects project, presents a unique opportunity to create a community with excellent public transport links and reduced reliance on the private car. Development within the Swords Masterplan areas shall be phased in order to manage the impact of development on the surrounding area and in particular on existing transport infrastructure throughout Swords.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland has now launched a second non-statutory public consultation on the Preferred Route, from today until Tuesday, May 21 at 5.30pm. Information on the new route is available on metrolink.ie and at the following public events:
Hilton Hotel, Charlemont, Monday, April 8, 2pm-8pm
The Gresham Hotel, O’Connell Street, Wednesday, April 10 2pm-8pm
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Glasnevin, Thursday 11 April 2pm-8pm
Ballymun Civic Offices, Ballymun, Monday 15 April 2pm-8pm
Fingal County Council, Swords, Tuesday 16 April 2pm-8pm
Submission may be made via metrolink.ie or by post to: MetroLink, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Parkgate Business Centre, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8, D08 DK10.
Contact:Press Office, Press Office at Fingal County Council01 890 5000