Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
87. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the timescale for the delivery of MetroLink; the details of the estimated timing of each of the key milestones; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53616/21]
MetroLink is likely the largest ever public investment project in the history of the State. It faces imminent and important milestones in the coming months and these milestones will determine its progress in the coming years.
Firstly, there is Government’s approval of the Preliminary Business Case and secondly there is the submission of a Railway Order application to An Bord Pleanála. On that first milestone, my Department has received draft Preliminary Business Cases for MetroLink. This represents Decision Gate 1 under the Public Spending Code and the Preliminary Business Case is currently under review.
For major projects, like MetroLink, the Public Spending Code requires a Government decision and I expect to seek such a Government decision in the near future. If approved by Government, that will allow MetroLink to move into the statutory planning system, subject to the completion of the necessary planning and environmental documentation.
The second impending milestone is the submission of Railway Order applications for MetroLink. That application requires the finalisation of an extensive set of documentation, including environmental impact assessment reports, and that work is ongoing in relation to this project.
I understand that an extensive body of work remains in relation to finalising the preliminary design, completing the required environmental impact assessment reports and closing out property referencing issues. This should be completed during Q1 next year and, subject to the Government decision mentioned above, the project will then be ready to seek planning permission.
An actual construction start date will ultimately be determined by the planning process and Government approval to proceed to construction at that time.
I trust this clarifies the current position.