Local TD Michael Kennedy has strongly criticised Fine Gael’s abandonment of the Metro North project and the 7,000 jobs, which it would create at construction stage alone.
Deputy Kennedy welcomed Transport Minister Noel Dempsey’s support for the rollout of the Metro North project, which will create significant employment and stands to service 32m commuters per year.
The North County TD said, ‘’There is no doubt that we are experiencing very difficult economic times but we need to look at the bigger picture. We are the only country in Europe whose capital city does not have a rail link to the airport. Like the Luas before it, Metro North will encourage people to get out of their cars and on to public transport, removing ten million car journeys from roads and reducing CO2 emissions.”
Deputy Kennedy also pointed out that the The Indecon Report commissioned by the County Council indicates that up to 37,000 jobs could be created in the new Metro North economic corridor from Ballymun to Swords. The North County TD believes that the plan should be brought to its conclusion.
“This is a major incentive to bring this plan to fruition. It is frustrating to hear economists talking about the lack of a cost-benefit analysis. The previous cost-benefit analysis worked out at E1.32 euro for every one euro spent. When tenders are agreed, a new cost-benefit analysis could highlight even greater savings as construction costs have significantly reduced due to the downturn. In fact, Metro North could work out cheaper now and I think it is important to look at this point,” said Deputy Kennedy.
He also pointed out that Ireland had learned the hard way in the past that delaying major infrastructural projects can have a strong negative impact on the progress of the economy and stressed that Metro North will provide major employment for the building sector while also giving some of the farthest reaches of Dublin and the surrounding counties a quick rail link to the city. “Would any of the world’s successful infrastructural projects have gone ahead if people only concentrated on the short term inconveniences? The population of Swords alone is 45,000, which is predicted to grow to 100,000 by 2025 – not to mention the surrounding counties of Meath and Louth, where a growing number of commuters will stand to benefit from the project which will revolutionise public transport,” said Deputy Kennedy. He gave his full support and backing to the Transport Minister and urged the Opposition Parties to do the same. “I commend Minister Dempsey’s foresight in such challenging times and I would urge the opposition to focus their efforts on ensuring that our country continues to move forward. Metro North offers an integrated, high capacity public transport system that will make a significant difference to thousands of lives everyday. It is vital that this project goes ahead,” said Deputy Kennedy.