herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Labour blasted on Metro North fears

LABOUR has been called on to clarify its position on Metro North over fears it could ditch the €3.7bn plan.

Dublin North TDs have been demanding that the party makes it clear to voters if it is in favour of the transport project.

It comes after Labour leader Eamon Gilmore cast doubt over whether the Dublin Airport connection would ever proceed if he was in government.

Darragh O'Brien (FF), who represents Dublin North, said Metro North appears to be the "latest victim of the Labour Party's inability to formulate a single coherent policy on an important issue".

"The latest position appears to be that Labour 'want the project, but not right now', which will come as very bad news to the families, local businesses and construction companies who realise the importance of this strategic investment," he added.

Labour's transport spokes-man Joe Costello said the party strongly supports the plan. "However, in the current economic environment it is prudent that every major investment be reviewed and assessed on a cost-benefit analysis," Mr Costello insisted.

Reviewed

"What Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said in a recent radio interview was the Metro North project would have to be reviewed along with the whole National Development Plan."

Mr Costello said a Labour review would prioritise projects with the greatest level of employment and economic return. "Metro North is an enormous project, which could over €5bn, yet this Government is refusing to publish any cost-benefit analysis, claiming that this information is commercially sensitive," he added.

Mr O'Brien said Metro North will create 6,000 construction jobs and "has the potential to create and support up to 37,000 jobs in the economic corridor from Ballymun to north of Swords".

comurphy@herald.ie

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