South West Dublin[1] suffers from major deficits in public transport and road infrastructure[2].  Following analysis and campaigning by the Metro South West Group[3], and prior to the last general election, all of the political parties promised that the feasibility of continuing MetroLink to South West Dublin would be evaluated.  In response, the NTA, together with Jacobs produced the Metro to Knocklyon Feasibility Study, 2021.  This Report rejected the continuation of MetroLink to South West Dublin.  However, the Report had many flaws, including[4]:

  • The Study was not independent;
  • Continuing MetroLink directly from St Stephens Green to South West Dublin was excluded from the analysis;
  • Continuing MetroLink to Tallaght was excluded from the analysis;
  • The buffers around stations assumes that only walkers would use the metro;
  • There was no provision for Park and Ride, Cycle and Ride nor feeder buses;
  • There was no provision for capturing traffic from the N81 and the M50;
  • Direct use should have been made of POWSCAR data;
  • Environmental benefits were excluded from the analysis.



The need for a proper feasibility study

BusConnects will fall far short from providing sufficient public transport in South West Dublin[5].  Accordingly, it is the interests of:

  • The general public/taxpayers,
  • Residents and businesses of South West Dublin,
  • Residents and businesses along the proposed BusConnects corridors,
  • Visitors to South West Dublin

that the flaws in the NTA/Jacobs Study are addressed in the near future.  Under pressure from public representatives and the Minister for Transport, the NTA has agreed to revisit the issue of where

MetroLink should go in South Dublin…..but only in six years’ time[6]!   By then, many important transport decisions will have been made and major projects will be underway or completed.



The tasks

To review:

  1. The MSWG submission to An Bord Pleanála and associated documents[7].
  2. The benefit-cost appraisal of the MetroLink project, which underpins the MetroLink project as presented by Transport Infrastructure Ireland to An Bord Pleanála, i.e. from Estuary to Manders Terrace in Ranelagh.
  3. The NTA/Jacobs Metro to Knocklyon Feasibility Study, 2021.
  4. The Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2022-2042 and the associated Strategy Development and Modelling Report, November 2021 insofar as they relate to the supply and demand for public transport in south west Dublin.


To produce the outputs described below.


The outputs

  • The estimated impact on costs and benefits at (b) if MetroLink proceeded from Tara Street via a station in (probably the south west corner of) St Stephens Green to a new station in the Portobello area with the TBM being parked under Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines.


(We expect that the cost of going to Cathal Brugha Barracks would be similar to going to Manders Terrace while the Transport User Benefits would be higher[8].)

  • Using the unit metrics at (c), the estimated costs and benefits of continuing MetroLink as a ‘Phase 2 project’ from Cathal Brugha Barracks to Tallaght, to include Park and Ride and Cycle and Ride (at locations such as Spawell and Dodder Valley Park); feeder buses; environmental benefits.


(We expect that the benefit to cost ratio would exceed unity comfortably.)

  • Using the unit metrics at (c), the estimated costs and benefits of joining Tallaght to Manders Terrace as a ‘stand-alone metro project’ subsequent to the TII MetroLink project, to include Park and Ride and Cycle and Ride (at locations such as Spawell and Dodderr Valley Park); feeder buses; environmental benefits.


(We expect that, compared with (ii), the costs would be higher and the benefits would be lower.)

 We have engaged an Eminent Professor Austin Smyth to carry out a detailed review of the Feasibility Study.  We need your help to pay for this review costing over 20000€.  So Please contribute to our Funding and share to your contacts.



Metro South West Group

March 2023




[1] The area between the Red and Green Luas lines.

[2] “Corridor E – N81 Settlements – South Tallaght – Rathfarnham – to Dublin City Centre:  Corridor E is made up of generally suburban residential development and is not defined on the basis of a major transport route, road or public transport service. It presents a challenge in that respect as it is more difficult to serve with high capacity public transport than other corridors, which are defined by multi-lane roads and / or dual carriageways, and contain existing or proposed rail lines.”  Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016-2035, NTA, page 56.

[3] For a list of members of MSWG, see Appendix A.

[4] Details are in Appendix B.

[5] See the MSWG submission to An Bord Pleanála


[6] Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) 2022-2042, page 147.

[7]The Case for Continuing MetroLInk to South West Dublin, MSWG, 2020


South West Dublin and the Continuation of MetroLink: Improvement in Commuting Times, MSWG, 2020


Indications for an Economic Appraisal of MetroLink from Estuary to Firhouse, MSWG, 2020



[8] Our expectations are merely provisional, to be undermined or verified by the data and the analysis.