As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. Following the establishment of the National Transport Authority (NTA) in December 2009, the implementation and development of infrastructure projects in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), including the development of DART projects, comes within the remit of the NTA.
The extension of the DART to Balbriggan forms part of the overall DART Underground project which was postponed in 2011. Due to financial constraints the Government's current capital plan to 2016 did not provide for the DART Underground which was planned as a PPP but with a very significant level of Exchequer support.
DART Underground remains a key element of the overall public transport integration strategy as it would deliver benefits for each of the four rail corridors radiating from the city centre. It will be reviewed again in preparation for the next capital plan from 2017. Though I do favour bringing consideration of the next plan forward in light of the improving public finances and increased growth forecasts by the Central Bank. I am concerned that without forward planning we could see a return to congestion in Dublin quite quickly and I do not want us to be caught off guard.