Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (765)

Clare Daly


765. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to extend the DART commuter transport link to residential areas of Donabate and further areas on the rail network in north County Dublin. [5600/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

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.