Fingal Mayor’s Seminar hears calls for Metro North to be fast-tracked

A major seminar on Metro North today heard calls for the project to be fast-tracked as Fingal County Council has already taken the necessary steps to facilitate it and are willing to work with Government and the relevant national agencies to deliver it as soon as possible.

The seminar, which was hosted by the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. Darragh Butler in The Atrium at County Hall, Swords, discussed the merits of accelerating the development of Metro North, from Swords to Dublin Airport and onto the City Centre.

Metro North was identified by the Government in 2015 as a priority project in Building on Recovery, its infrastructure and capital investment plan 2016-2021.  However, work on the transport corridor is not expected to begin for a number of years and is planned to be in operation by 2026/2027 at the earliest. The Government is currently undertaking a mid-term review of its investment plan and has additional resources to commit to priority projects.

Fingal County Council is advocating the sustainable development and business case for Metro North to be fast-tracked so that future development can be underpinned by a fast, dedicated and efficient metro line.

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The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. Darragh Butler said: “I hope today’s conference has achieved its aim of showing how important it is for Metro North to be fast-tracked because it is the gateway to a prosperous future for the people of Fingal, the residents of Swords and those with businesses along its Economic Corridor.”

The Council’s Chief Executive, Paul Reid, supported the calls by the Mayor stating: “A decision to bring forward the implementation of this critical phase of national infrastructure will also create the certainty required to stimulate investment by public, commercial, semi-state and private sectors to ensure that complementary development occurs in the most suitable places and at the right time.”

Fingal County Council’s Director of Strategic and Planning Infrastructure, AnnMarie Farrelly, outlined how the Council has used its recently approved 2017-2023 Development Plan to copper-fasten the Metro North Economic Corridor as far as Lissenhall where the Council envisages, in addition to a major park-and-ride facility, a new mixed use urban area with significant levels of residential and employment development.

Ed Hearne, Fingal County Council’s Director of Economic, Enterprise and Tourism, spoke about how Metro North will underpin the economic growth of the county and added: “A decision on the early delivery of Metro North can bring the certainty and confidence to unlock further investment and deliver a transformative economic impact for Fingal and the Dublin region.”

After each of the keynote speeches there were panel discussions, moderated by Newstalk presenter Bobby Kerr, which included Hugh Creegan, Director of Transport Investment and Taxi Regulation at the National Transport Authority; Alison Hardiman, Head of Planning and Environmental Law, at McDowell Purcell; Kevin Toland, Chief Executive, daa; Professor Brian MacCraith, President, Dublin City University; Guy Thompson, President, Fingal Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Mary Rose Burke, CEO, Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

The seminar was attended by key stakeholders from across the Dublin region, including elected members of Fingal County Council and both Houses of the Oireachtas as well as representatives from Government Departments and national agencies.