By Dominic McGrath, PA
The revised national development plan (NDP) does not have a completion date for the landmark Metro Link project for Dublin.
Described by the plan as “likely the largest ever public investment project in the history of the state”, the Metro Link and its status had been questioned ahead of the launch of the NDP.
The multibillion-euro NDP launched in Cork on Monday says that the planned completion date for the project is “to be confirmed”.
It means that any kind of timeline for the Metro Link project, which will consist of a 19km railway service between Swords, Dublin Airport and Dublin city centre, remains unclear.
The previous version of the plan set the completion date as 2027.
The plan notes: “Since 2018 the project has undergone two extensive non-statutory public consultation processes, during which thousands of submissions were received and considered.
“Those public consultation periods have helped inform the development of the Preferred Route, which is now being readied for submission to An Bord Pleanala for statutory planning approval, subject to Government approval in the coming months.”
Asked about the lack of a date at a press conference in Cork, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said: “The plan has to be nimble and it has to be flexible.”
“There’s got to be room to move with delivery.”
Speaking about a range of projects across the country, including a light-rail route in Cork, Mr Martin said: “It is up to the cities to get competitive and start bidding for resources for those light-rail projects.”
Minister @EamonRyan & Minister @1Hildegarde have announced details of a €35 billion investment package for our transport system as part of the revised National Development Plan.
📍https://t.co/VxhaqQJ7Ug#TransformingHowWeTravel #Ireland2040@IRLDeptPER @merrionstreet pic.twitter.com/N54C5FYrUF
— Department of Transport (@Dept_Transport) October 4, 2021
The Government has said its 35 billion euro investment in the transport system will transform how the country travels and halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Public transport will get 12 billion euro in funding, with road projects receiving six billion euro and walking and cycling routes receiving four billion euro.
The new plan, described by ministers on Monday as “gigantic”, promises 165 billion euro in funding for a range of projects over a 10-year period.