I have made the following submission to the public consultation on the proposed Metrolink.
1. Prioritise walking and cycling.
Walking and cycling are the highest priority modes in transport policy. Logically therefore, public transport infrastructure proposals should not only not obstruct or degrade walking and cycling routes, every opportunity they present to improve permeability, safety, convenience and attractiveness for walking and cycling should be taken. Any public transport proposal such as this one should also be a scheme to improve walking and cycling in areas being served and affected.
1 (a) Provide walking and cycling permeability across the M50 motorway.
The Alignment Options Study has ignored one of the objectives of the Fingal Development Plan. Appendix 1.1 Planning Context sets out Development Plan Objectives MT01, MT25, MT26 and MT28, so it is very hard to understand how MT15 has been overlooked. It reads:
Investigate and avail of the opportunities provided by new Metro North and any other public transport infrastructure to provide new cycle and pedestrian links including crossings of the M50 which currently represents a major barrier to active transport modes.
This has not been taken into account; the proposal should include cycle and pedestrian link(s) along the rail alignment.
1(b) Improve walking and cycling permeability across and along the R132 and associated roads in Swords.
The Alignment Options Study Appendix 1.1. Planning Context does refer to the walking and cycling permeability issues in relation to Swords. However the Study does not get into the level of detail required to evaluate the impacts.
When detailed design is being done, it must ensure that walking and cycling are prioritised. The Swords Masterplan produced by Fingal in 2009 should be a key document in doing this.
2 Design public transport as a network.
The key to an effective public transport system is connectivity. Therefore this project should seek to make connections and should be evaluated for its contribution to the public transport network rather than as a stand-alone project.
2(a) Connect the Metrolink to Donabate to integrate with the Dart/Belfast line.
The Metrolink route should continue to meet the Dublin-Belfast railway line at Donabate, at either the existing station or a new station. This would allow passengers to interchange at Donabate and access destinations along the Metro route. This proposal has been made for many years but I am not aware of any modelling or other analysis. That analysis must be done at this stage.
2(b) Design the Metrolink to integrate with the Dart Interconnector.
The route should be designed to integrate with the Dart Interconnector project. The interconnector is generally agreed to be the project which will have the biggest synergistic impact on the Dublin public transport network. (It is hard to understand why it has not been prioritised.)
The Metrolink should be designed to integrate with the interconnected Dart network. Previously the lack of capacity on the Loop Line section of the Dart has been described as a major constraint on that route. In those circumstances, it is hard to understand why Tara St. is being chosen as the interconnection point.
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Submitted to https://www.metrolink.ie/#/public-consultation