Dáil Éireann - Volume 500 - 18 February, 1999
Written Answers. - Light Rail Project.
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
64. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Public Enterprise the progress, if any, of the light rail proposal for Dublin; the time schedule associated with the various aspects of the proposal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4662/99]
Mrs. O'Rourke Mrs. O'Rourke
Minister for Public Enterprise (Mrs. O'Rourke): The recent progress on the Dublin light rail project is as outlined in my press statement of 29 January. I attach a copy for the information of the Deputy. It includes an indicative timetable for the various stages of the project. The timetable is subject to the satisfactory completion of the relevant statutory processes and technical evaluations.
Since the issue of the statement public consultation has commenced on the Abbey Street to Connolly section in the past week. My press statement is as follows:
The Minister for Public Enterprise, Deputy O'Rourke, today announced that she has approved the application by CIE for a light railway order in respect of the Tallaght to Abbey Street line. This paves the way for construction to commence early next year.
The Minister has accepted the conditions proposed by the Inspector in his report on the public inquiry into the application. The draft light railway order is now being revised to reflect this decision and will be signed by the  Minister shortly. In making her decision the Minister expressed her gratitude to Judge Sean O'Leary for the professional and thorough manner in which he carried out the public inquiry.
The Minister stated: “There has been significant progress on the light rail project since the Government decision of 5 May last year. I am pleased that progress is in line with the indicative timetable which was agreed at that time.
When I announced the enlarged light rail project in May, 1998, some individuals claimed the project was being mothballed. Some even claimed it would never be built. Today's announcement underlines the Government's commitment to light rail and our determination to deliver the project on schedule,” the Minister declared.
“We are on schedule and making significant progress right across the project, both on the southside and northside,” the Minister said.
The Minister also outlined other developments in the overall light rail project: CIE has submitted an application for a further light railway order in respect of the Sandyford to St Stephen's Green line on 14 December 1998 and Judge Sean O'Leary has been appointed to carry out the public inquiry into that application; a public consultation document, setting out the various route options for the light rail  line from Broadstone to Ballymun and the Airport was launched on 18 December 1998; preliminary studies on the underground section from St. Stephen's Green to Broadstone are due to commence within weeks; a public consultation document is about to be launched setting out the route options for the Abbey Street to Connolly Station line. An application for a light railway order for this line is due to be submitted at the end of August this year. This will again be followed by a public inquiry.
In addition, Arthur Andersen who were appointed as lead consultants to advise on a public private partnership approach to the light rail project are due to report in the next few weeks.
LUAS Indicative Timetable
A preliminary estimate of the timescales involved in implementing the Government's objective of proceeding without delay with the construction of the Tallaght to city centre section and, subject to the necessary technical confirmation, with the Sandyford to St. Stephen's Green section, is shown as follows. Indications are also given of the work programme in respect of the extension from St. Stephen's Green to Ballymun and Dublin Airport using the old Broadstone railway alignment and with an underground section in the city centre. The timetable is subject to the satisfactory completion of the relevant statutory processes and technical evaluations.
LUAS Indicative Timetable
Dáil Éireann 500 Written Answers. Light Rail Project.