Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Rail Network Expansion
1061. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the 2009 baseline figures were used in the 2015 calculations to estimate the cost-benefit analysis figures for extending the Dunboyne rail line to Navan; if they were used to inform the greater Dublin transport strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3277/20]
1062. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the timeline for the review of the Navan rail line and the associated review of the transport strategy for the greater Dublin area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3278/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 1061 and 1062 together.
As the Deputy is 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.
The development of the Strategy was informed by extensive research and analysis and the Navan Corridor Study is one of 13 background papers and reports published by the NTA and available to view on its website - . I note that the Navan Corridor Study refers to 2011 as being the base year for the purposes of establishing travel demand with 2035 the forecast year.
While the Strategy stated that based on current population and employment forecasts, the level of travel demand between Navan, Dunshaughlin and various stations to the city centre was insufficient to justify the development of a high-capacity rail link at that current time, it proposed an enhanced bus service along the corridor and the development of a bus hub in Navan. Importantly, the Transport Strategy clearly states that the issue of a rail link to Navan should be kept under review and that the corridor previously identified for a Navan rail link should be protected from development.
This issue remains under review and will be specifically considered again as part of the statutory review of the current Strategy which must be reviewed every 6 years following publication. I understand this will commence during 2020.