Chamber News

Building Metro North Would Show Ireland Means Business

May 07, 2017

Starting work on Metro North would send a clear message to the world that Ireland is serious about competing on the global stage.

That was the message delivered by Mary Rose Burke, CEO of Dublin Chamber, at a special Metro North seminar in Fingal this afternoon.

Speaking at the 'Fingal on Track: Preparing for Metro North' event in Swords County Hall, Ms Burke said that the delivery of Metro North is urgently needed to address ever-worsening congestion in Dublin.

Ms Burke said: "We've been talking about Metro North for far too long. The plans are there, now it's time to get them off the page and to get spades in the ground. Starting work on Metro North would send a signal to the people and businesses of Dublin - and also workers and companies looking to locate here in light of Brexit - that Ireland is serious about addressing the current infrastructure deficits that threaten to stifle growth. The lack of a rail link between the city and the Airport is proving a deterrant to companies moving jobs and business to Ireland. The absence of such a modern amenity makes an underwhelming impression upon business travellers and potential foreign investors."

The Chamber, which represents business in the Dublin region, said that Metro North will provide a transport solution for Dublin Airport, but also the fast-growing North County Dublin region.

Ms Burke pointed to CSO figures which show that Fingal was the fastest growing county in Ireland in the five years to 2016. The population of Fingal grew by over 22,000 in the period.

Ms Burke said: "A new rail link is needed not only to serve Dublin Airport, but also to cater for the additional 40,000+ people who will be commuting into Dublin city centre from north county Dublin by 2023. At the same time, passenger numbers through Dublin Airport are expected to exceed 36 million by 2022, up from 25 million last year. A new rail link will go a long way to accommodating such strong growth levels."

Ms Burke added at the event that the revised Capital Plan, which will be announced by Government in the coming weeks, should a firm commitment to making Metro North happen at the earliest possible opportunity.

Ms Burke pointed to successive global indices – including the recent World Economic Forum report - which have highlighted the lack of infrastructure investment as a threat to Ireland’s competitiveness.

Ms Burke said: "Metro North - as well as Dart Underground - has the potential to transform public transport in Dublin. Together, they can provide the cornerstone of a public transport network that will set Dublin up for the next 100+ years. The Government and the transport authroties must commit to securing the funding required to deliver Metro North."

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