Fears 'scenic route' Luas will increase travel time into city
A multi-million-euro development of a Luas line to west Dublin may be a wasted investment, with fears that journeys to the city centre may take longer than existing public transport routes.
The National Transport Authority's (NTA) strategy for the greater Dublin area over the next 20 years includes plans to extend Luas lines to Bray and Finglas as well as the west Dublin town of Lucan.
The Luas route would see trams run to the city centre via Ballyfermot, with local Fine Gael councillor William Lavelle arguing that the "scenic route" development would take longer than current bus routes to the city centre.
"One concern with the planned Luas project is that the area is one of the most chaotic for traffic in Dublin, and we need the most direct route into the city centre that won't obstruct road traffic.
"We don't need a network that takes a scenic route, we want commuters getting value for money and we don't want millions being spent on a Luas line that will take longer to reach the city centre than our current bus routes," Mr Lavelle said.
"We definitely need more public transport in the area and I would encourage the National Transport Authority as well as Transport Infrastructure Ireland to develop as direct a line as possible from Lucan to the city centre.
"We had this before with hopes that a rail line would be extended to Lucan, so we'll see what happens," he added.
Plans for the Metro South and the Lucan line were included in the last Dublin transport strategy published five years ago, but were not progressed.
Meanwhile, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce has called on funding to be made available to the NTA to ensure that the projected developments come to fruition.
"Every great city needs a great transport system. Years of under-investment means that Dublin's public transport offering is considerably behind where it needs to be," Dublin Chamber CEO Gina Quin said.
"The NTA strategy puts forward a number of big transport projects that would greatly enhance the public transport offering in the region and significantly ease the increasing pressures of congestion.
"Convincing people to switch from the private car to public transport is dependent upon the public transport offering. The plans put forward by the NTA will go a long way, but funding must be set aside to bring the plans off of the page and into reality."