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Statement on the draft Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has published for public consultation a draft Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area which seeks to update the current Strategy and sets out various proposals for future transport investment for the next 20 years. This development of the strategy and the need for it to be reviewed every six years is a statutory requirement of the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008 (as amended) and is a statutory function of the NTA.


The new Strategy commits fully to the existing transformative projects in development – BusConnects, DART+ and MetroLink, as well as Luas Finglas, Luas Lucan, Luas Poolbeg and Luas Bray. The draft Strategy proposes further extensions to the DART network to extend DART services to Kilcock, Sallins and Wicklow, an extension of the M3 Parkway line to Navan and a range of new stations along the network. The draft Strategy also proposes a range of investments across active travel, bus and demand/traffic management measures. Implementation of the full measures set out in the draft Strategy aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the GDA to below 1 Mt CO2 eq by 2042 (from a 2018 level of 3.2 Mt CO2 eq), a reduction of around 70% in greenhouse gas emissions.


In relation to future light rail, the analysis undertaken as part of the draft Strategy’s development recommends that planning and design commence in relation to a total of eight new Luas lines which will be required to be developed post 2042, while in relation to DART+ Tunnel the analysis suggests the cumulative benefits associated with the DART+ Programme together with the host of other interventions planned in active travel and public transport mean that it is unlikely that DART+ Tunnel will be required until post-2042. However, the draft Strategy commits toward preserving and protecting its alignment for later delivery.


At a Departmental level, the recently published National Development Plan provides the certainty of funding required to commence BusConnects, DART+ and MetroLink. All three of these multi-billion euro projects are scheduled to enter the planning system early next year and the Department is currently finalising its review of the Preliminary Business Cases for each of the projects,  to enable the Minister seek Government approval as required under the Public Spending Code.  It is expected that the Minister will seek Government’s approval in relation to DART+ before Christmas.