23rd November, 2009

Due to the size of this project An Bord Pleanala is responsible for the planning process for Metro North. They opened oral hearings on this project in April. These hearings were then suspended as An Bord Pleanala requested further information from the Rail Procurement Agency (RPA).

This information was received in October and the oral hearings are now due to commence by the end of November. Your local Fine Gael representatives will be making a presentation to the An Bord Pleanala Inspector for this project. Please contact us with any views, support or concerns in relation to this project so that we can include them in our submission at the oral hearing.

The only way that An Bord Pleanala decision can be reviewed is through the court system. It is therefore very likely that their decision will set the final conditions under which this project will be built.


The Department of Transport have confirmed that “Two consortia have been shortlisted as part of the PPP procurement process. The next phase of procurement must await the outcome of the planning process.” The final stages of the selection process will not continue until the planning process is complete. It is likely that An Bord Pleanala will make a decision on this project next year.

This means that the final bidder may not be announced until 2011. When this selection process is complete the winning bidder will need to sign final contracts with the Rail Procurement Agency and raise the neccessary finance in the financial markets. It is therefore likely that construction on Metro North will begin in 2012.

The Rail Procurement Agency has indicated that the construction period for Metro North will last between three and four years. This means that it will be between 2015 and 2016 before Metro North is operational. Despite this wait, the An Bord Pleanala hearing process will be crucial in determining the operation of the system and impact on local community.