A revised route for Metro North could include an extension to link it with the Luas Green Line.
According to today’s Ireland Edition of the Times a planned tunnel for Metro North between DCU and St Stephen’s Green will now continue south to intersect the Luas tracks, which would be upgraded to a Metro line.
Chair of Dublin City Council’s Transportation Policy Committee, Ciaran Cuffe believes the idea makes sense, and could see the Metro tunnel through the city centre, before coming up in Ranelagh, and even travelling as far as Bray.
Cllr. Cuffe says it’s possible that the two services could link up "The idea of metro north had been to terminate at Stephens Green and to have a large underground station there. The metro is being built at the same gauge and the Luas, in other words the tracks are the same distance apart, so it is possible to keep the metro going. You can integrate the two systems."
Reports suggest that plans will be announced early next year, but Cllr. Cuffe says nothing is set in stone "These are only press reports. We don’t have confirmation of the route. I would be hoping that early in 2018 we would have confirmation of the proposed route. The trouble is it's going to take a while to build, the government seems to be moving a little bit slowly on this and I think 2027 is the date they're giving.
Cllr. Cuffe believes the government needs to put money into transport services if we’re to entice companies to our shores in the wake of Brexit "We're seeing a lot of congestion on the roads over the last few years as the economy picks up and I think the real solution to all of this is to invest in public transport. Metro is one of the big ticket items. We also need to invest in more Luas lines, bus, walking and pedestrian facilities.
For the past four years, Dubliner's have been patient while works on the Luas Cross City took place. The extension to the green line will be operational from this Saturday. Cllr. Cuffe feels that construction on an underground Metro wouldn’t be as big an inconvenience to the public "The good thing about an underground is that the disruption is localised where you have shafts or stations linking down underneath the earth whereas with the Luas cross city every metre of the way had disruption because of the construction at the surface. It's one of the pluses of a metro is that it's underground. It comes at a price but certainly if we continue to see the sort of growth we’ve had over the last few years we do need something like the metro to handle the increase in passenger numbers that we're seeing.”