Joined-up thinking on transport | The Post
With regards to Metro North, Murphy said the government ‘‘has to make decisions’’ about the financing of it, but that it was a project he wanted to ‘‘continue now and into the future’’.
‘‘There was a business case prepared for this, and it was independently assessed to show that it has significant benefits over costs," he said.
‘‘The Metro gets mislabelled as a ‘train to the airport’, when it actually is about serving Swords and the major population increase there, as well as servicing major hubs like Ballymun, Croke Park and the Mater Hospital.
‘‘There is a lot of debate about cost, but next year, for example, the total bill for enabling works would be €75 million, and that would raise to €175 million in 2012, compared with the annual subvention of €275 million for CIE."
He said that people needed to understand that five million journeys were currently made every day in the greater Dublin area, and that was set to grow to seven million by 2020.
‘‘You can’t have high-end economic activity in a capital city where the average car speed is nine miles an hour.
The Metro is not a stand-alone project, it is part of an overall integration strategy that is central to the development of transport corridors to make a network which is more efficient and much better connected."
The Dart Underground Interconnector, now proposed to run from the Docklands to Inchicore, is also an important part of that goal, according to Murphy. He described it as a ‘‘curved line that will directly connect the south of the country with the north’’.
People arriving in Heuston from Cork or Kerry could use it to connect to Connolly, from where they could catch a train to Belfast and elsewhere.
‘‘Again, work on this will only cost in the region of €25 million next year," he said.