Written Answers. - Dublin Light Rail System.

Pat Upton

Question:

226 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications the cost per kilometre of the proposed underground Luas rapid rail system in Dublin's inner city. [8640/96]

In my reply to Question No. 237 of 5 March 1996 I pointed out that the Dublin Transportation Initiative strategy, which has been accepted by the Government as the policy framework for transportation planning in Dublin, incorporated an on-street light rail system. I also pointed out that DTI had specifically recommended against an underground (DART) system on economic, financial and accessibility grounds.

I am advised that on the basis of a very preliminary estimate, CIE calculate the additional cost associated with constructing a two kilometre underground section of light rail in the city centre would be in the region of £65 million. This would include the cost of stations and of upgrading the rolling stock.

Pat Upton

Question:

227 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications the level of consultation he has had with local residents groups prior to the publication of the Luas rapid rail route. [8641/96]

Pat Upton

Question:

230 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications when the definitive plans for the route of the Luas rapid rail system will be published. [8644/96]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 227 and 230 together.

I refer to my reply to Question No. 130 of 6 March 1996. In addition I would point out that the public consultation programme which I launched last December is being co-ordinated by CIE which has day to day responsibility for detailed planning and preparatory arrangements in respect of the planned light rail network. Legislation which I will introduce shortly will provide for a mandatory public inquiry to be held before any final decision is taken on routes.

Pat Upton

Question:

228 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications the estimates, if any, which have made regarding jobs which will be lost arising from the establishment of the Luas rapid rail system through the Kilmainham area of Dublin. [8642/96]

Final decisions on the precise routes of planned light rail links will not be taken until the public consultation programme now under way is completed, a public inquiry has been held and EU approval procedures have been completed. The impact on employment is one of a range of issues being considered as part of this process. One of the underlying aims of the proposed light rail network is to support development policies which create and sustain employment and I would be most concerned about any potential loss of employment as a result of the development of light rail. However, pending completion of the process already outlined it would be premature to speculate what impact the development of light rail will have on employment along the eventual routes and in the city as a whole.

Pat Upton

Question:

229 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications the compensation, if any, which will be paid to residents and business people whose lives and businesses will be disrupted by the proposed Luas rapid rail system, Dublin. [8643/96]

Pat Upton

Question:

231 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications when the environmental impact study on the effects of the Luas rapid rail system on various parts of Dublin will be published. [8645/96]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 229 and 231 together.

The Transport (Dublin Light Rail) Bill, which will be published in the immediate future, will provide for the payment of compensation where a person suffers loss, injury or damage as a consequence of light railway works carried out on land owned or occupied by him or her. The Bill will also provide for the preparation of a statement of the likely effects of the proposed light railway works on the environment and will specify arrangements for inspection or purchase of the statement by members of the public. The CIE project team is working on the environment impact statement at present and it will be available in advance of the proposed mandatory public inquiry, to be provided for in the Bill.