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From todays Indo…. common sense prevails I least in terms of cost and timescale.:

TRANSPORT Minister Seamus Brennan has set a target for the completion of the Dublin Airport metro line within four years, and a fraction of its original €4.8bn price tag.

He believes that the project can be built for less than €2bn by 2007 and has instructed the Rail Procurement Agency (RPA) to draw up plans for the ambitious new appraisal.

The RPA’s initial assessment suggested that it would take between seven to nine years to build the line.

A Spanish expert who headed up the Madrid Metro, a larger project which was built for less than €1bn, will also be working as a consultant with the Agency.

Professor Melis Maynar has already advised Mr Brennan on how Dublin could replicate the Madrid project and has offered his services free. His view is that increased costs are caused by over-staffing and time wasting.

Measures to fast-track the planning process such as setting limits on appeals will be included in Mr Brennan’s promised Critical Infrastructure Bill.

Other parts of the legislation will aim to speed up the process by restricting the length of time for public inquiries.

Mr Brennan expects the RPA to produce a new assessment by the end of this month, paving the way for him to bring proposals to cabinet before ministers take a break in August.

If all goes to plan, construction work on the Metro would be expected to begin two years from next month.

The new target of 2007 for the construction of the Metro also happens to correspond with what many commentators believe will be the year of the next general election.

A recent revisal of the Metro’s projected route by the RPA put forward a shorter, direct link between Dublin Airport and O’Connell Street. The line would save construction costs by-passing key city rail stations to save money and would involve stops at O’Connell Street and D’Olier Street. The move followed the news that the agency had revised its estimated cost of the project from €4.8bn to €3.4bn after investigating the metro system in Madrid.

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