Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Rail Network

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
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16. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the review of the business case for DART underground by the National Transport Authority is complete; if so, if he will share the findings of the report; the timeframe now envisaged for the project; if it is still the intention to move forward under the existing railway order; if compulsory purchases necessary to the project are envisaged; if so, will the notices to treat process be concluded by September 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46014/14]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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DART Underground is now being reviewed and assessed by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with other large public transport projects for the Dublin area. The 2010 business case for DART Underground is currently being updated and will be based on the latest data on population, transport demand, construction costs etc. The NTA have advised me that the DART Underground report and the outcome from the Fingal/North Dublin Transport Study and the preliminary Business Case for the BRT to Swords will be available by mid 2015.  

Following receipt and assessment of the reports  I will then consider  the options and priorities for  addressing  key public transport deficits in the GDA having regard  to the  costs and benefits and affordability of each project as well as funding sources and options including private funds, EIB loans and EU grants.

Significant additional Exchequer resources will be required to advance any new major project irrespective of the availability of private or EU funds. With existing funding levels the key priority is to protect investment made to date and to maintain safety standards. If additional funds become available, there will be many competing projects from all transport modes in all regions. 

I will prioritise any additional funds for projects for which there is a clear need, which are affordable, have a sound business case and add value to existing infrastructure. I would expect that there will be public transport projects in the Dublin region which will meet these criteria if funds are available.

The Railway Order for DART Underground is valid until 2024 but a High Court Judgement in February 2014 determined that the period for serving Notices to Treat for the purpose of compulsory purchase of property under the Order should be 18 months from the date of the Judgement, rather than the 7 years set out in the Railway Order.  As a consequence, a decision on whether to proceed with DART Underground under the current Railway Order must be made by September 2015 if the CPO conditions applicable to the project are to be met.


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