Wicklow TD Jennifer Whitmore today raised once again the need for DART services to Wicklow Town during a briefing with the National Transport Authority (Tuesday 24th of January) for Oireachtas members on the NTA Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area, 2022- 2024.
At the briefing, Deputy Whitmore asked for an update on the timeline of the proposed extension to the DART service for Wicklow Town and also asked if any of the newly ordered battery operated DART carriages will be used on the line to Wicklow.
Following the briefing Deputy Whitmore said:
“The importance of proper public transport for commuters in Wicklow cannot be understated. We have seen a massive growth in population in recent decades with many residents being forced to move further south due to housing costs. This impacts on people’s pockets, work life balance, and of course our climate emissions. Public transport to meet the needs of people in Wicklow needs to be a top priority for government.
“I raised this issue with the NTA during the briefing today and I welcome their confirmation to me that work on the infrastructure needed for the use of battery operated carriages is progressing and that significant work should be seen on this over the next year such as on charging points. The provision of battery operated carriages on that line would be a game changer for the town.
“Unfortunately, however, there has been no formal decision as to if the newly commissioned battery carriages will be made available to the Wicklow line. Of the carriages that have been ordered to date, the majority are going to the northern line and won’t be available until after 2025.
“We need now for the government to formally commit to allocating some of these carriages to the Wicklow Town line. Government promises are no longer cutting it and residents in Wicklow deserve clarity on what transport plans are being made for their town and the rate of progress for those plans.
“In 2021 I started a campaign in Wicklow encouraging people to engage with the NTA on their consultation for the new strategy including calls for the extension of the DART to Wicklow town. I was proud to hear the NTA mention at today’s briefing that there had been a large campaign from Wicklow for this extension of this service to Wicklow Town. I want to thank everyone who did make a submission to the new strategy.
“I will continue to put pressure on the government to deliver public transport for Wicklow that meets the needs of Wicklow residents.”
Green Party TD for Wicklow, Steven Matthews who also attended the briefing said, “I am confident that I will deliver a battery electric DART to Wicklow Town. I have worked on this consistently for last five years, liaising with the NTA and the Minister for Transport and will continue to work in the background to bring this to fruition. The people of Wicklow Town need a far better rail service than currently exists and I am confident it will be delivered by the Green Party.”