Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (37, 42)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

37. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport his views on whether the reinstatement of the Dublin-Navan rail line would help reduce car emissions by taking thousands of cars off the road every day; his further views on this vital public transport project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16066/20]

View answer

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

42. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport the status of the Navan rail line. [25879/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 37 and 42 together.

As the Deputy may be aware, the issue of a potential extension of the existing Dunboyne/M3 Parkway line to Navan was considered by the National Transport Authority (NTA) during its development of the statutory Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016 to 2035.

I want to say firstly that I very much welcome the development of transport strategies for the major cities. We need to ensure a holistic, multi-modal approach toward transport planning and provision and, importantly, we need to see finalised transport strategies integrated into relevant land-use plans and acting as a catalyst for the adoption by local authorities of a much more sustainable approach toward the location of housing, employment and other centres of transport demand.

The analysis conducted at the time of the development of the original Strategy concluded that the level of travel demand between Navan, Dunshaughlin and various stations to Dublin city centre was insufficient to justify the development of a high-capacity rail link at that time.

However, the Strategy clearly states that the issue of a rail link to Navan should be kept under review, which will take into account the scale of new and planned development along the route, and that in the meantime the corridor previously identified for a Navan rail link should be protected from development.

I am glad to say that it is now time to review the Strategy and work has now commenced in that regard. The review will need to consider how the region has changed since 2016 and how we can best provide sustainable alternatives to the private car. A re-examination of the potential for a Dublin-Navan rail service will be an important part of that consideration and I look forward to its completion.