THE long-awaited link up between Dublin’s two Luas lines will create over 800 jobs, it has emerged.
The announcement last Friday that An Bord Pleanála has given the green light for the link up was warmly welcomed by politicians and business groups across the city.
Labour TD Kevin Humphreys said it was fantastic news for Dublin.
“This is guaranteed to improve life for commuters, tourists and businesses alike,” he said. “With an investment of €370 million this project will generate up to 800 much needed jobs. When completed it is expected to increase the number of Luas customers by 25 per cent.”
The 6km BXD line will extend the Green Line from St Stephen's Green through the city centre where it will link up with the Red Line at the junction of O'Connell Street and Abbey Street.
It will then go out to Broombridge near Cabra where it will link up with the Maynooth commuter rail line.
Deputy Humphreys said transport was a key factor to maintaining Dublin’s competitive advantage to the city’s European counterparts.
“This will play an integral part to linking up the north and south part of the city,” he added.
“Traffic congestion is often cited as one of the barriers to people entering the city. The now seamless transport lines will hopefully encourage more people into the city and give the local businesses a boost.”
The cross city Luas Broombridge (BxD) line will bring the city’s business districts on both sides of the Liffey even closer, according to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber’s Chief Executive, Gina Quin, said: “The development of this Luas line is a missing link for public transport in the region as a whole.
“Luas BxD will join the Luas lines but also link the north and Southside of Dublin city centre in an important way which will improve life for commuters, shoppers, and tourists. It’s estimated that the line will help create an additional eight to 10 million trips on the Luas network annually.”
She added: “When we link up our transport network more effectively we give passengers greater options on where they can get to in the city and create more value for the public transport network as a whole.”
The Luas BxD project was announced in 2005 as part of the ‘Transport 21’ investment strategy for transport in Ireland, geared to deliver a world-class transport system that also included Metro North and DART Underground.
However, it was announced by the Government last November, in the Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2012-16 programme, that Luas BxD would be the only one of the three major transport projects that would get the go ahead before 2016.