Shelved Dart Plan Wins Planning Approval

The proposed Dart Underground project, which was controversially shelved by the Government earlier this month, has won planning permission from Dublin authorities.

The Dart Underground was planned to run from Docklands to Inchicore, and increase the capacity of the Greater Dublin area's rail service to 100 million passenger journeys per annum.

Costing some €1.2 billion the plan has shelved in a wave of criticism from Fianna Fail, because of Government's infrastructure spending cuts outlined in the Budget.

However, despite the cancellation of the plan until 2016, Gina Quin, Dublin Chamber Chief Executive welcomed the planning permission.

"Despite the Government's decision to defer the development of Dart Underground, it is still important that planning for the project continues so it can be brought to a state of readiness for when funding eventually becomes available.

"Today's decision from An Bord Pleanala is an important step in this process and as long as major work is commenced, not necessarily complete, within the 10 year planning approval timeframe, the project remains viable," she said.

The news comes just as the Leap Card, promising cheaper travel, went on sale this week to commuters in the greater Dublin area.

Minister for Transport Alan Kelly with the National Transport Authority announced the integrated transport ticket for Dublin enabling people to switch between Bus, Luas, Dart and Rail services with one ticket.

Public transport users will be able to purchase and top up their Leap Card at more than 350 authorised Leap Card agents (Payzone) across Dublin and online at www.leapcard.ie

However, the launch comes just as Fianna Fáil Transport spokesperson Timmy Dooley slammed the Government's proposed increases to bus and rail fares from January, saying they will impact on the low paid, unemployed and those on social welfare the most.

The increases range from 3% to 15%, prompting Deputy Dooley to say the prospect of the increases in Dublin Bus fares will come as a "major shock" to commuters and will impact on those on low incomes the most.


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