'Airport rail link will go ahead', pledges Joan Burton
The Tanaiste has pledged that a new rail link from Dublin Airport to the city centre is on the cards.
Dublin Chamber of Commerce welcomed a statement by Tanaiste Joan Burton that the new rail service will be announced shortly.
The Tanaiste Joan Burton told more than 100 Dublin business people yesterday she was confident that positive news on the airport rail link would be announced in the Government's capital spending plan in a few weeks' time.
"For many years, we have been talking about a direct public transport link to the airport and I'm confident that we will have positive news on this issue when my colleague, Brendan Howlin, announces the Capital Spending Plan in a few weeks' time," said the Tanaiste.
"The airport helps bring millions of people into Dublin every year and the airport itself is a place of work for thousands of people.
"People arriving in a major European city expect a choice of public transport options and we are going to provide them with that choice through the capital plan.
"We also need to see an accelerated expansion of bus lanes," Ms Burton added.
The Tanaiste said she recognised Dublin as "the economic engine of Ireland" and acknowledged that "business, both small and large, is the lifeblood of the city."
"Dublin Chamber has long called for a high capacity, efficient and reliable rail link which services Dublin Airport," said Gina Quin, chief executive of Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
"Such a link is needed not only to serve Dublin Airport, but the rapidly-expanding population of north Dublin," said Ms Quin.
"By 2023, an additional 40,000 people will travel into Dublin city centre from north county Dublin. At the same time, passengers at Dublin Airport are expected to exceed 23 million within four years. A new rail link will go a long way to accommodating such strong growth levels," she said.
Dublin Chamber hoped the capital spending plan will include other infrastructure projects for the Dublin region.
"Other than Luas Cross City, there are no major infrastructure projects currently being progressed in Dublin," said Ms Quin.
The country is suffering the consequences of underinvestment in infrastructure and this must be rectified, she said.