Yesterday’s meeting of the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly unanimously agreed to an emergency motion I submitted with Cllrs. Francis Duffy (Green, South Dublin) and Pádrag McEvoy (Ind., Kildare):
- The Regional Planning Guidelines (RPGs) for the Greater Dublin Area(GDA) are explicitly based on the implementation of Transport 21 including Dart Underground.
- The Local Authorities in the GDA, in line with the RPGs, have included Dart Underground in their Development Plans and planned accordingly.
- Dart Underground is the most important strategic transport investment needed to achieve the required increase in public transport network capacity and efficiency which in turn are needed to bring about the required modal shift and prevent over-reliance on private motor transport.
- Failure to make the required investment in the Dart Underground will undermine and render impossible the policies in the RPG which seek to focus development on areas served by quality public transport.
- If the Government refuses to go ahead with Dart Underground, it is depriving the GDA of the essential interconnecting piece of public transport infrastructure on which regional and local authority level spatial planning is based and ensuring that the public transport system in the GDA will be incapable of meeting the needs of the region as envisaged up to now.
I was questioned by one other member as to whether I thought the Dart Underground was more important than the airport link; I replied that it was, and that I thought this was objectively recognised by most people, including, in 2010, the current Transport Minister, then an opposition spokesperson:
“The Dublin Underground DART is needed more than any other Dublin Transport 21 project as it will connect many of our existing services and stations throughout Dublin. Such integration is a vital part of Transport 21 as it will help us make better use of what we already have.” http://paschaldonohoe.ie/