Check against delivery
I am pleased to be here today to open another new station on the Iarnród Eireann network. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of opening a number of stations along the Western Rail Corridor and I’m looking forward to the opening of more new stations in the not too distant future on the Navan line.
Clongriffin Train station
Turning to Clongriffin station itself, it will be the main railway station for the North Fringe area which extends from Belcamp to the West through to Baldoyle in the East. A total of 63 services will call at the station each weekday, providing up to 14 services an hour at peak times.
I am pleased that the station provides full accessibility for mobility and visually impaired passengers because we must make it as easy as possible for all passengers to use such services.
Both the Train Station and Bridge overpass were developed by Gannon Homes Ltd and Helsingor Ltd, in collaboration with both Iarnród Éireann and the respective Local Authorities of Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council. I would encourage other local authorities to develop land-use transportation strategies which would see more stations like this being built. The re-opening of the Midleton line also sets a template for others to follow in terms of co-ordinated transport and land-use development.
This station is also an example of the partnership approach between the public and private sectors. It follows on from other similar stations at Adamstown, Parkwest/Cherry Orchard and Phoenix Park which have delivered new stations for the communities they serve at little or no cost to the taxpayer.
Iarnród Éireann provided the design for the Station and Gannon Homes through their appointed Design Team and the Contractor, Pierse Contracting, delivered the Station and Bridge. These were subject to the detailed design approval of Iarnród Éireann and the two Local Authorities.
Top class public transport is central to the future of transport policy in this country and PPPs such as this help to deliver the necessary rail infrastructure as quickly as possible.
I have outlined previously, the provision of increased capacity will be a key consideration in determining public transport investment priorities in the period ahead. In that context, the DART Underground and Metro North, are particularly important rail investments as they form a core part of the planned integrated public transport network for the Greater Dublin Area envisaged by Transport 21. Both of these projects will be procured by means of Public Private Partnership.
Rail Investment in the GDA
Of course they are not the only public transport projects that are either underway or recently completed. Other projects include the Kildare Route project, the Western Rail Corridor, the re-opening of the Midleton line and the LUAS extension to the Docklands. Good progress is continuing on the re-opening of the Navan line, the extension of the LUAS lines to both Cherrywood and Citywest, the City-Centre re-signalling project and the delivery of another 51 new intercity railcars starting next year.
In the past decade we have revitalised the rail network in Ireland under Transport 21 and with the assistance of the EU. In the Dublin area this has included the DART upgrade and DART refurbishment projects, the development of Heuston station and purchase of new buses for both Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann. However, as you all know, the current funding environment is very difficult and it will not be possible to progress all the projects in Transport 21 in accordance with the ambitious timescale envisioned at its launch. Despite this, I am seeking to progress the planning of public transport projects to ensure that we are in a position to move speedily to construction at the earliest possible date once financial circumstances permit.
One of the top priorities of my Department is to encourage people to switch from private cars to public transport as outlined in my Department’s Smarter Travel strategy. Your support will be crucial in achieving this priority. The Government is committed to offering commuters a real alternative to the car. We are acting now to free up our towns and cities from choking traffic congestion. A project like this station - that offers reliable, sustainable, modern public transport on your doorstep is the future.
I will conclude by thanking the Chairman, Chief Executive and staff of Iarnród Éireann as well as Gannon Homes Limited, Helsingor Ltd, Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council for their work in building this station and bringing it into service without major service disruptions. I wish all those who travel through Clongriffin Station a safe, pleasant and enjoyable journey.