New Dart+ project should include station in Bettystown - Tolan

Calls have been made to deliver a new train station in Bettystown as part of the Dart + Coastal North Project.

Cllr Sharon Tolan put forward the motion at a recent Laytown/Bettystown Municipal District meeting calling on the on the NTA and Irish Rail to introduce the public transport resource to cater to the ever increasing population in East Meath.

A site at the Narroways road adjacent to Ardmore estate has been identified and zoned off in the county development plan. Tolan's motion was unanimously agreed.

Last month it was revealed that DART+ trains from Dublin to Drogheda will be battery-electric powered by 2025.

Irish Rail confirmed that a French company was awarded a €28 million contract to install the fast-charging infrastructure at Drogheda station.

Of the initial order of 95 DART+ carriages entering service in 2025, 65 are battery-electric powered while the other 30 are electric. The battery-electric DARTs will operate on Dublin to Drogheda service and will be capable of operation of journeys up to 80 kilometres on battery power alone.

The trains will benefit from automatic charging at Drogheda during turnaround between journeys. The infrastructure will be capable of charging a throughput of up to three 10-carriage length trains per hour.

Cllr Tolan says the momentum needs to be keep going to deliver a successful public transport system for the area.

"We can’t miss an opportunity like the Dart + Coastal Project and the delivering of another train station in east Meath,” she said. "Now is the time to deliver this vital piece of infrastructure while we are delivering the rest of the upgrade to the track for the infrastructure that is required for the delivery of the dart to the area,” she added.

A new national fare strategy was announced earlier this year that will see lower fares for commuters with East Meath being brought into a new 50k Dublin Commuter Zone. Tolan who was heavily involved in the campaign for “fairer fares” says now is the time to act to secure another train station for the coastal area.

"It is really important that we provide as many available transport options as possible,” she said. "We know that the new fairer fares initiative will be introduced shortly thankfully. The new commuter zone will be introduced and more and more people are going to want to get on that train. We have literally thousands of homes adjacent to the location for that train station who could all access the train line. Now is the time to get that included in the Dart + Coastal North Project.”

Fine Gael Cllr Paddy Meade supported the motion.

“Taking into account the huge population, it makes compete logical sense to have that station and that would take the pressure off so many other roads in the area,” he said.

Fianna Fail Cllr Tom Behan said: "I am happy to support this motion. Any additional service that we can provide to the east coast will have knock on benefits for the whole community."