THE RAILWAY Procurement Agency (RPA) plans to change the route of the proposed Lucan Luas line, but said it does not intend to reopen public consultation on the project.
Plans for the line, which would run from Lucan in west Dublin to the city centre, were originally put out to public consultation in late 2007. The RPA received a record 2,300 submissions from the public, greater than the response for the entire Metro North project.
The preferred route which emerged from this process was announced in October 2008. From College Green in the city centre, the 15km “Line F” would head west along Dame Street to Christchurch before joining the existing Red Line at Fatima. It would then continue along the Grand Canal before turning right on Kylemore Road and heading towards Ballyfermot and out of the city towards Lucan.
In a letter sent to residents in Inchicore, the RPA said it now plans to change the route so that the Luas line could link up with the proposed final stop of the Dart Underground line.
In the letter, the RPA said that at the time the original Lucan Luas selection process took place, the Dart Underground route was to end at Heuston Station. Iarnród Éireann subsequently decided to extend the line to Inchicore.
The RPA and Iarnród Éireann have been working for a number of months to identify a way to provide a “viable interchange” between the two lines, the letter said. The proposed solution involves taking the line away from the canal and routing it through industrial lands east of Inchicore Village to meet the planned Dart station.
A spokesman for the RPA said two information meetings would be held this week – at Liffey Gaels GAA Club, Ballyfermot, from 6pm to 9pm tonight, and at the Oblate Hall, Inchicore, at the same time tomorrow.
The RPA intends to seek a Railway Order, planning permission to construct the line, from An Bord Pleanála next year. When the preferred route was announced in October 2008, the RPA said it would seek a Railway Order in 2010.
The spokesman said there would “not be any significant delay” in development as a result of the route change. No date for its construction has been set.
Inchicore on Track, a residents’ group which had been critical of a lack of consultation from Iarnród Éireann in relation to the site of the Dart Underground station, said it wanted public consultation on the route change.
“This route change might be a no-brainer, and it seems logical, but what if we don’t agree with it?” asked group representative John Beck.