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BusConnects and others 'may run over budget', says Ryan

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Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan

Major transport projects may run over budget but will lead to more housing, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said.

Mr Ryan said it is "highly likely" estimated costs for projects such as BusConnects, Dart Plus and the MetroNorth will run over budget.

However, the Minister for Transport said the Government can get "better prices" when building during an economic crisis.

"The Metro and the BusConnects will go to planning the end of first quarter next year, certainly for BusConnects - and I think maybe slightly later for Metro but not that much later," he said.

"We need to go ahead and build these. Building in a crisis, you get a better price and you get housing close to where the public transport is going to go."

Signal

Mr Ryan said he does not have the full cost estimates for the projects but said he is "confident" he can get his proposals through Government as he sees them as the "right strategic investments".

"Those projects are still going to be needed. Metro will take five years to build but once we start, it gives a signal to the housing sector that 'yeah it's happening, that's where you build', and that's probably the most important thing," he said.

"There will be some who will come out and say 'well because of Covid, transport patterns are changing, we don't need the big projects'.

"I fundamentally disagree - and I've been involved for 20 years on the Metro. We still need it. And we need it because half of our housing in recent years was in the counties surrounding Dublin," he added.

Mr Ryan warned Dublin will "lose its attractiveness as a place to come and do business" if there are not radical changes to transport.


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