2036 Navan rail line finish date is ‘too far away for people of Meath’ - O’Rourke

While plans to start work on the Navan Rail line in 2031 are outlined in the Greater Dubin Area Transport Plan published today (Tuesday), Deputy Darren O'Rourke said there is huge disappointment that the project will take so long.

The proposal for the railway line is outlined in Plan as a 'medium term' project, to be completed between 2031 and 2036.

The cabinet signed off on the plan, which includes the €750million Navan rail project last week.

"2036 is too far away and people in Meath are very understandably disappointed," said Deputy O'Rourke, the Sinn Fein spokesperson on Transport.

"A major public consultation concluded 12 months ago and there were 2,000 submissions from Meath people who wanted the Navan rail line delivered as quickly a possible. Now we know it won't be completed until 2036, this is deeply disappointing.

"A business case prepare by the consultants, AECOM, proposed a timeline of 2029 for the rail line, a timeline which would be much more favourable to the people of Meath.

"I recognise that major infrastructure projects take time, but a project of this scale shouldn't take 13 years to deliver. At the root of this delay is a lack of government commitment to and funding for this project."

Deputy O'Rourke said the estimated cost is now €750 million. "It will run far in excess of that, the longer wait. The sooner it is started the better."

Minister Ryan is expected to outline the Greater Dublin Area Transport Plan in the Dail later this week and the Navan Rail Line is expected to be one of the flagship projects in that plan.

In total over 4,000 submissions were received during public consultation on the plan and almost half of those were from people in Meath, reflecting the scale of the campaign to deliver a rail service to Navan.

Consequently it became one of the biggest projects on the review alongside the Metro to South West Dublin and extensions of the DART.