9th November 2021 | Press Releases

National Transport Authority backs Green TD Steven Matthews’ DART to Wicklow Town proposal

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The National Transport Authority (NTA), which has responsibility for rail projects, has included the extension of electrified train services to Wicklow Town in its transport strategy released today.

Green Party TD Steven Matthews has been working for the past few years to convince the NTA, the Department of Transport and Irish Rail that an extension of DART services to Wicklow makes good economic, societal and environmental sense.

“I have been researching this proposal and putting the findings to all agencies including Wicklow County Council since my time as a councillor. As a TD for Wicklow, I put the improvement of public transport across Wicklow as a priority on entering government. 

“The NTA decision to include this extension is a real game changer as it needed NTA backing before it could go any further. I have met with Wicklow County Council and local business and residents groups, and while there was firm support for the rail extension, I think there was doubt that I could convince the transport authorities to get behind the proposal. With the NTA now firmly stating that this proposal is part of the overall transport strategy for the Greater Dublin Area, we have a clear route to extending the DART to Wicklow Town and delivering one of the most important transport opportunities for Wicklow.”

Minister for Tranport, Eamon Ryan TD, last week lauched the Connecting Ireland Plan for public consultation. The plan from the NTA proposes an overall increase of 25% in rural bus services, significantly increasing public transport connectivity for people living outside major cities and towns. Deputy Matthews commented;

“Wicklow has been largely ignored for many years in terms of public transport and combined with constant urban sprawl this has led to unsustainable car dependency and traffic congestion. Last week in Wicklow, Minister Eamon Ryan launched Connecting Ireland, which will offer a huge improvement and investment in new bus routes and better services across rural Wicklow. This week, we see the most important transport agency backing my proposal for a DART extension. These projects will not be delivered overnight, but in the last few weeks we have seen County Wicklow placed firmly on the map in terms of public transport investment and I will continue my work to ensure that these proposals are delivered and that the people of Wicklow get the transport they need for access to work, college, recreation and services across the county.”