212. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will address overcrowding issues on the Connolly to Maynooth rail service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18489/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The National Transport Authority’s (NTA) Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area provides the overarching framework for the planning and delivery of transport infrastructure and services for Dublin over the next two decades.

The recently published National Development Plan (NDP), which was launched earlier this year by Government as part of Project Ireland 2040, also confirms investment in heavy rail, including DART Expansion, as part of a comprehensive public transport network.  This investment is both to protect the quality and investment already made in the railway network and to increase capacity in line with future growth projections as envisaged by the National Planning Framework 2040.

DART Expansion is a series of projects that will create a full metropolitan area DART network for Dublin with all of the lines linked and connected.  DART Expansion provides for the delivery of priority elements including a move to a 10 minute peak-time service, introduction of additional train fleet including the expansion of the fleet with new diesel electric trains and also provision of fast, high-frequency electrified services to Maynooth and M3 Parkway on the Maynooth/Sligo Line as well as to Drogheda on the Northern Line and Celbridge/Hazelhatch on the Kildare Line while continuing to provide DART services on the South-Eastern Line as far south as Greystones, all to achieve the benefits envisaged by the NDP.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the development and implementation of public transport in the Greater Dublin Area.

Noting the NTA’s responsibility in the matter I have referred the Deputy’s questions to the NTA for a more detailed reply.  Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.