Garrett has for years been opposed to Luas, although I think he's the only person in this country who has ever come close to the idea of a 'statesman' I have to point out that a lot of his arguements over Luas have been proven incorrect or rather not taking into account other factors that render his points irrelevant.
There was a notable absence of his previous criticisms last night as a result.
I loved the bit where he spoke with an engineer at the Red Cow and asked how pedestrians were supposed to get to the station - to which the engineer replied 'well, over there'.
Garrett - "what you mean across the motorway?"
Engineer - "well mumble mumble................."
(Dissolve to black)
I thought I'd delve back a bit and follow tdevelopment of Luas from it's inception in 1990 - although it was mooted in the 80s.
1990 - The Dublin Transportation Initiative was formed to try & solve the city's transport problems - A light rail system is immediatly on the cards.
1992 - the DTI's interim report is published, light rail is the staple mode, and various lines are proposed.
1994 - Final report published - lines pretty much in their current form are decided upon.
1997 May - After 3 years of consultations with civic groups and 100s of bodies etc Min for Transport Alan Dukes puts up Â£100m for building Tallaght line and money for designing Ballymun line.
1997 July - Fianna Fail come into Govt with PDs and despite earnest protests from Dukes not to interfere - they unravel the whole process to find the feasability of going underground.
Luas team are furious after 3 yrs of work - FF promise a massive report will at last settle the underground issue once and for all - and spend Â£200,000 on a study by WS Atkins of the UK.
1998 April - 9 months later (delay later) report is published - it unequivically supports overground system - it will carry more passengers, will cost less, and underground would prob entail a public private partnership, and would take much longer to build.
Estimated cost overground Â£500m - roughly what CIE had come up with previously.
1998 May - 1 month later Mary Harney & Mary O' Rourke come under pressure form car lobby and various other anti-Luas groups that had formed, & despite promises of Atkins being the final final report that would settle the issue - they proceed to ignore the Â£200,000 study and devise their own scheme to go underground from Stephens Green to Broadstone, costing an extra Â£300m. Without - costing Â£400m.
As a result of more delays & planning ahead, EU funds of Â£114million for the project must be used elsewhere around the country.
CIE are left to pick up the pieces and start planning some sort of underground system.
1998 Nov - Public inquiry into Tallaght line is held in just over 20 days and findings published before end of year.
1999 March - after 3 further months, O' Rourke gives the go ahead at last for Tallaght (Line A)
It begins work in Feb of 2000, and is to be finished by Feb 2003.
1999 Nov - go ahead given for Line B, it is to start work in early 2000 and be finished by June of 2003.
1999 - At this stage planning is still going on for Line C to Connolly and 6 Ballymun routes are being considered and planned (still)
The cost of the project (I think the 3 lines we have now) is Â£671million which translates into the 700 and something million euro that Min Brennan speaks of today.
Also in 1999 test holes are bored in the city centre to accertainsoil types for underground- findings reveal theres a lot of rock down there - hence likelyto mean more money please.
At this stage however it is hoped that with the lines under construction at last - when they are finished - public and political perception will sway massively in favour over overground link from Green to North, and hence no underground will be needed - hence little work to date has been carried out on the underground option.
1999 December - Public inquiry is carried out for Line C and judge rules in favour of residents of IFSC that the line must stop at Store St until an alternative link to Connolly is found - hence bye bye ramp later on.
2001 - Finsihing projections of project are moved back to Christmas of 2003.
2002 - Finishing projections are moved back again to June 2004
2003- Finishing projection for one line (I think Tallaght) is moved to July/August 2004.
2003 16thSept - Red Cow officially becomes the laughing stock of Europe.
Even Marian Finucane picks up on the stilts/Simpsons mono-rail similarities.