Full speed ahead on project to take Luas all the way to Finglas
Plans to outline a route for a Luas extension to Finglas will be brought forward to next year as part of an initiative to speed up delivery of the project.
The National Transport Auth- ority (NTA) has proposed that "preliminary design, selection of a preferred route and commencement work on a railway order" will begin next year.
Current plans outline an appraisal of the Luas extension to Finglas would be carried out closer to 2030.
However, Fine Gael TD Noel Rock said he was notified of this date being changed after meeting senior NTA staff.
He has welcomed the preliminary work being brought forward to next year.
"We have several potential routes which are situated on much vacant, state-owned land," Mr Rock said.
"We need to ensure that the design works take place, the route is selected and the land is reserved as soon as possible in order to get the most out of it.
"I am glad to see that those at the top of the NTA share this thinking."
The project was initially left out of early drafts of the Government's Ireland 2040 plan to expand the country's infrastructure.
However, it was eventually included after some extensive lobbying.
The move will see the Cross City Luas extended to Finglas by 2027. However, Mr Rock said it is vital that this work is carried out sooner.
"We have taken a firm step forward in that regard, with an undertaking at our recent meeting that these works would begin in 2019, upon the conclusion of the MetroLink design works, when personnel are available to transfer to the Fing-Luas project," he said.