Rail Users Ireland have long been campaigning for a proper integrated metro system as seen in other European capital cities. In the year preceding the announcement of the government's 'Transport 21' plan, we rejected proposals for a metro line that would not cater for the growing needs of the city (see our The Proposed Metro is Flawed report), and we are happy to report that the Railway Procurement Agency incorporated many of our concerns and proposals. However we will still be keeping a close eye on developments to ensure that we do not get short-changed by a cheap metro solution.
What has been proposed?
In the government's Transport 21 plan, two metro lines are proposed:
- Swords and Dublin Airport to St. Stephen's Green (Metro North) to be completed by 2012
- Tallaght to Ballymun (linking with Metro North) by 2014
Rail Users Ireland welcomes the estabishment of the metro network after many years of dithering by the Department of Transport. We welcome that transport planners have finally accepted Rail Users Ireland proposals to consider a metro system, rather than a series of disconnected lines. We will be campaigning hard to ensure that Dublin gets the metro system that will meet its needs.
What does Dublin need from a metro system?
The key to the proposed metro system must be capacity to deal with the needs of the future. The M50 is a perfect example of transport infrastructure that was supposed to solve all our traffic woes, yet proved unable to cope with the rise in demand. Platform 11 will be campaigning for the following elements:
The metro must have the capacity for future needs
We do not want a metro that will be unable to cope with future demands. We are pleased that the RPA have incorporated our proposal for longer metro carriages -- however serious concerns remain over signalling (which dictates how frequently trains can be run), capacity (how many passengers can be carried per hour) and expandability.
The metro must connect with the DART and Luas services
The commuting corridors to Maynooth and Navan are set to massively increase over the next ten years. Yet, bizarrely, we have had no confirmation that the metro will integrate with the rail line going to Maynooth (also serving Navan), yet it passes right beside the line at Phibsborough.
Rail Users Ireland released its controversial report The Proposed Metro is Flawed in early 2005 which lifted the lid on the secretive proposals for the Airport metro. Since then, we are pleased to report that many (but not all) of our proposals have been included in Transport 21. Read the full Platform 11 metro report.
Our report contained 9 recommendations, the majority of which have been addressed in the now approved Metro North plans which proves and vindicates the position Rail Users Ireland took in an effort to ensure that future passengers get the best service and experience.
In the months that followed slowly one by one our recommendations have been validated by the changes made by the RPA and Government. Full list of recommendations and discussion can be found here.