- DART Underground must be prioritised -
Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Fingal Darragh O’Brien says the Government must start investing in capital rail projects before the current system buckles under the pressure. Deputy O’Brien was speaking following a meeting which he arranged with senior management in Irish Rail about the northern commuter line, which serves Balbriggan, Skerries, Lusk/Rush, Donabate; and Malahide and Portmarnock. Irish Rail confirmed that while small service improvements can be expected later in the year, it says significant investment is needed to increase capacity and provide more frequent and reliable services. Deputy O’Brien commented, “Fine Gael in Government has allowed transport infrastructure to fall off the agenda completely. The result has seen commuters facing packed carriages, delayed services, increased congestion in stations and a frustrating journey to and from town. Irish Rail is doing its best to address these issues but the fact of the matter is that there needs to be a complete infrastructure overhaul.
“Commuters in towns like Donabate, Rush, Lusk and Balbriggan have reported a serious deterioration in services in the mornings and evenings, and unfortunately there will not be any significant improvements until the Government gets its act together and wakes up to the seriousness of the situation. “I want more than token gestures and pie in the sky promises. DART Underground and the DART extension to Balbriggan are essential projects that need to be undertaken as a matter of urgency. Our rail network in the capital and the commuter counties is already creaking under the strain. “Fianna Fáil is fully committed to these projects. We need to see the same determination from Government on this issue. I along with my colleagues in Fingal County Council will continue to pursue these matters with the Transport Minister in the Dáil so that commuter services in north Dublin can be transformed for the benefit of everyone living in this area”.