Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51)

Simon Coveney

Question:

124 Mr. Coveney asked the Minister for Transport his plans for the development of the metro; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6723/04]

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Eamon Ryan

Question:

130 Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Transport when he expects the business case proposal for the first stage of the Dublin metro to go to Cabinet for a decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6810/04]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

147 Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport the extent and detail of discussions had with the Department of Finance over the costs of the proposed metro link between Dublin city centre and Dublin Airport; if the construction of the metro link will only be undertaken as part of a wider scheme to build an underground system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6768/04]

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David Stanton

Question:

173 Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Transport his plans for the development of the airport metro; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6615/04]

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Billy Timmins

Question:

180 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Transport if he has satisfied himself that he can deliver the Dublin metro by 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6739/04]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

185 Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport when he expects to bring to the Cabinet his final proposals for the construction of a metro link between Dublin city centre and Dublin airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6767/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 124, 130, 147, 173, 180 and 185 together.

The programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a metro, with a link to Dublin Airport. The proposal for a metro in Dublin is part of the Dublin Transportation Office's strategy, A Platform for Change. The current proposal is the first phase of the metro in the DTO's strategy. However, it is important to note that the Railway Procurement Agency's, RPA's, business case shows a positive economic case for a link between the city centre and the airport as a stand-alone project. It is, therefore, not dependent economically on a wider underground system being built.

I understand that the metro will take approximately four years to build from the date all the necessary authorisations and approvals are granted. As the project will be a public private partnership, there is a strong incentive for the bidders to minimise the construction period as payment will not commence until the service is in operation.

As discussions with the Department of Finance are ongoing as part of the deliberative process, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the extent and details of the discussions in advance of Government consideration on the matter. I expect to bring my proposals on the metro to the Government in the coming weeks.