Inchicore and the Luas
Article Posted: Saturday 18th October, 2008
The proposed Luas line linking Lucan and the city centre will not come through Inchicore village, it has emerged.
Inchicore lay on one of the two options for the new line which were being examined by the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA).
However, the RPA in their wisdom have opted for the other option, which will see the Luas travel from Lucan to Upper Ballyfermot and then divert through unpopulated industrial to hit the Grand Canal and the existing Luas line from Tallaght. The new route will then share this route up to St James' Hospital before going its own way into town, finishing at Trinity College.
The RPA's decision will come as a bitter disappointment for Inchicoreans who lobbied for the route to come through or near the village. A Luas route was just the shot in the arm that Inchicore needed to improve its fortunes; now, taken together with the fiasco of the failed regeneration of St Michael's Estate, the area risks being left behind the rest of the city in terms of urban renewal.
Although the RPA gave no reason for its decision, it is clear it went for the cheaper option, as using the existing tracks by the canal will save a lot of money. It also shied away from the opposition posed by vested business interested in Old Kilmainham, which were central to stymieing plans to bring the original Luas through the area over 10 years ago.
The decision also deprives Lower Ballyfermot and Inchicore of a natural transport link, as well as leaving thousands of tourists who visit Kilmainham Gaol and the Museum of Modern Art every year without decent public transport.
Perhaps the only comfort is that the line may never be built because of the current state of the public finances. Somewhere down the line, the powers-that-be might rethink their strategy and a new opportunity may arise for Inchicore.
More details on the preferred route of the Lucan line are available here.
If you'd like to let the RPA know what you think of their decision to bypass Inchicore, click here.