s200m Dart plan for airport is five times cheaper than metro
A PROPOSED Dart link between Dublin city and the airport will cost a fraction of the Metro North.
Irish Rail has submitted a business proposal for an extension to the Dart with a cost estimate of €200m.
If it proves viable, the construction costs could be over five times cheaper than a new metro.
However, the Dart service would not serve the same scope of passengers as the metro.
Consultants for the rail company have urged Transport Minister Leo Varadkar to approve the plan, claiming the link will deliver "exceptionally high" economic growth for the capital.
The 7km link would begin from the existing north line at Clongriffin and extend northwards, connecting with Dublin Airport. Irish Rail says the project will create estimated 130 million extra journeys by 2030.
It also says the development will boost tourism, the environment and businesses in the city.
The report states that Dublin Airport is a "major source of employment and trip-making", comparable in scale to a large urban area.
It forecasts that employment in the area surrounding the airport will rise to 20,000, with the number of passengers travelling via Dart increasing by 9.4 million a year.
Spokesperson for Irish Rail Barry Kenny said the line could be open by 2016 and that it would be constructed with minimal disruption to residents.
The proposal by Irish Rail comes after the Metro North plan was put on the back burner by the Dept of Transport.
If the development is given the green light, commuters will be able to travel from Greystones in Co Wicklow right up to the north of Co Dublin.
It would mean that visitors will be able to travel from Dublin Airport into the city in just 25 minutes.