Update on Dart Underground

5th August, 2010

dart underground
The proposed DART Underground is set to play a central role in Dublin’s commuter rail network. It is intended to link all existing and proposed rail modes into a single integrated and cohesive network. This project will see the construction of approximately 7.6km of underground tunnelling from Inchicore to East Wall where it will link up with the northern rail-line. The DART Underground will be one of the largest infrastructural projects ever built in this country.

Under the Strategic Infrastructure Act 2006, an application can be made directly to An Bord Pleanala, rather than Dublin City Council for permission to construct a project such as the DART Underground. Use of this Act will allow the ‘fast-tracking’ of the project through the planning process. Accordingly, Irish Rail lodged a Draft Railway Order with An Bord Pleanala on June 30th. All documents accompanying the Draft Order are available for your review on www.dartundergroundrailwayorder.ie until August 18th. This will also be the last date for you to make your submissions. It is important to remember, this will the only opportunity for local residents to make a submission or objection to this project. Whilst, Councillor Ray McAdam and I expect an oral hearing to take place prior to any permission for construction being granted, this is not a certainty. We strongly advise all local residents to lodge a submission with An Bord Pleanala and that a request for an Oral Hearing be included in that submission.

East Wall will not directly benefit from this project, but the local community will be impacted upon significantly by the construction and operation of the DART Underground. Particular areas of impact include:
– Excavation, clearance and tunnelling works all to be based in East Wall
– Volume of construction traffic going through East Wall will be higher than initially expected
– Tunnelling and other construction works to take place on a 24/7 basis
– West Road to be closed during most of construction works
– Impact of tunnelling works upon local homes – potential for damage to local properties
– Significant increase in problems with dust and impact upon local people
– As East Wall is reclaimed land, construction works may increase the risk of potential flooding
– Irish Rail expect 20 trains in either direction to use the route per hour

Councillor Ray McAdam and I held a local public meeting last February to ensure that the community is fully informed of all developments in relation to this project. We will make use of our experience of the planning process and in particular with An Bord Pleanala to support the East Wall Residents’ Association and local residents in ensuring your voice is heard throughout this entire process. Ray has also called on Irish Rail to come before the Area Committee to provide more information on various sections of the Draft Railway Order. It is essential that you engage in the planning process yourself by submitting an observation to the Board. If you require assistance with your submission, please contact us. We will do all we can to help the community of East Wall in putting forward constructive submissions regarding how this project will impact the area and its people. An Bord Pleanala need to fully appreciate the views and take into consideration the concerns of the local community before any Railway Order is approved.