Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Transport Infrastructure

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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34. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views regarding the second public consultation process regarding Swiftway/BRT Swords/Airport to city centre and the reason the advertisement process and method of making submissions was altered; if it would not be preferable to halt this process now and reconsider prioritising Metro North; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46311/14]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) including Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects.

The NTA's Integrated Implementation Plan 2013-2018 has proposed a Swiftway BRT Scheme as an interim solution to the short term demand needs of the Swords/Airport corridor. BRT would be a fast and efficient form of public transport in some parts of Dublin and would be cheaper to build, operate and maintain than rail.  However, BRT will not on its own replace rail-based solutions where a higher capacity solution is required in the long-term, such as on the Swords/Airport corridor.

As a result the NTA is undertaking a technical consultancy (Fingal/North Dublin Transport Study) to assess the longer term rail transport requirements of the North Dublin/Fingal corridor, extending from Finglas to Malahide and including Dublin Airport and Swords.  This review will examine existing proposals (heavy rail, metro, Luas extensions) as well as other options for a rail-based transport solution to meet the area’s needs in the long term. The report will be available in 2015 and will be assessed in conjunction with the  more detailed  proposals for the Swords/Airport Corridor, having regard to available funding and the best value solution over the appropriate time period. A draft preliminary Business case for the Swords BRT will be available shortly.

I will then consider the options for addressing key public transport deficits in the GDA having regard to the costs and benefits of each project and  to available Exchequer funding as well as other possible sources of funds. I expect to finalise  this review  by mid-2015.

With regard to the consultation process, I understand from the NTA that they have held two non-statutory public consultations regarding the Swiftway BRT.  The first consultation launched earlier this year, focused on introducing BRT as a new public transport mode for Dublin in terms of both its concept and proposed network. The second consultation launched in relation to the Swiftway BRT network is on the Proposed Scheme, including Preferred Route for the Swords/Airport to City Centre route. The advertisement process and the method of making submissions under this process is a matter for the NTA. 

With regard to financial details on consultation and tendering for the proposed BRT system, I understand from the NTA that they have engaged the assistance of a technical design consortium to bring the Swords/Airport proposed scheme to planning consent.  The cost of this is in the region of €2.5 million.


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