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M50 to Trinity in half hour on Luas... if you can wait 10 years

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Transport Minister Eamon Ryan launches the public consultation for Luas Finglas with the help of Michael Nolan of Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan launches the public consultation for Luas Finglas with the help of Michael Nolan of Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan launches the public consultation for Luas Finglas with the help of Michael Nolan of Transport Infrastructure Ireland

The M50 to the city centre in 30 minutes - that's the promise of the extension to the Luas.

However, commuters fed up of crowded buses and congestion will have to wait until at least 2028 to enjoy the new service as the proposed route is only now going to public consultation.

The new 4km line through Finglas in the north of the city will link Charlestown, close to the M50, with the existing Broombridge station in Cabra.

That journey will take just 13 minutes and, by linking up with existing services, the promise is that passengers will be able to get the whole way from Charlestown to Trinity College in the city centre in just 30 minutes.

Its target is 30,000 passengers daily, drawn from the population who will be living or working within one kilometre of one of its four new stops.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) says it will take 10,000 cars off the road, assisted by a 600-space park-and-ride facility at the Charlestown end.

The proposed route runs through three public parks and Finglas village, with some opposition expected over the impact on any or all of these areas.

A website, luasfinglas.ie, has full details and drawings, and members of the public have until mid-September to submit their observations.

NTA chief executive Anne Graham urged the public to get involved in the project.

Feedback

"We are anxious to get feedback on this proposal so I encourage members of the local community to let us know what you think," she said.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan, who formally opened the public consultation, said he believed the public response would be positive.

"It's going to improve the quality of life of tens of thousands of people. It's the best way of making the city work," he said.

No price has been put on the project, as the NTA says it is impossible to cost it until the route is confirmed, but it is expected to run to hundreds of millions of euro.

The preferred route requires two bridges, one at Broombridge station and the other over the River Tolka, which will add to costs, but alternatives could be even more expensive.

Luas Finglas will differ from the existing 40km of track in that it will be constructed mostly of grass track, with cycle and pedestrian paths laid along much of the line.

If the project proceeds without delays, the consultation, design and approval could be completed in 2023, followed by a one-year tender process and then a four-year construction phase.

Mr Ryan added that he was determined to have the Luas extension in operation no later than 2030.