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2003
Current time scale for the opening of Luas lines
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18 June 2003

To ask the Minister for Transport the current time scale for the opening of the Tallaght LUAS line; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- John Perry. (Nominated by: Denis Naughten).
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 18th June, 2003.
Ref No:   16699/03

To ask the Minister for Transport when the LUAS line will be opened up to commuters; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Olivia Mitchell. (Nominated by: Denis Naughten).
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 18th June, 2003.
Ref No:   16698/03

To ask the Minister for Transport the current time scale for the opening of the Sandyford LUAS line; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Olivia Mitchell. (Nominated by: Denis Naughten).
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 18th June, 2003.
Ref No:   16700/03

To ask the Minister for Transport the current time scale for the opening of the LUAS lines; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Fergus O'Dowd. (Nominated by: Denis Naughten).
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 18th June, 2003.
Ref No:   16697/03

To ask the Minister for Transport the latest information available to his Department on the expected completion date for each of the three LUAS lines; the way in which these dates compare with the contractual completion date for the three LUAS lines; the original estimate of the cost of the three lines; the estimated cost at the latest date for which figures are available; if it is expected that the Contingency Fund will have to be used to fund the remaining stages of the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Liz McManus. (Nominated by: Róisín Shortall).
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 18th June, 2003.
Ref No:   16877/03     Lottery:   92     Proof:   125

Answered by Minister for Transport
(Séamus Brennan)

REPLY

I propose to answer question Nos ______, ________, _________, ________ and ______ together.

Construction of the two Luas lines from Tallaght to Connolly Station (Lines A and C) and from Sandyford to St. Stephens Green (Line B) is progressing and significant milestones for the project have already been achieved. The depot at Red Cow is now complete and the 26 trams for the Tallaght line have been delivered. Construction of the Sandyford depot is complete, fitting out will begin shortly, the first eight 40 metre trams for the line have been received and the remaining 6 trams  will be delivered over the coming months.

Almost all enabling works, such as utilities diversions and bridge building are complete and the land and property acquisitions programme is well advanced. A significant amount of track has been laid and the test tracks at Red Cow and at Sandyford are in place.

I understand from the RPA, however, that the contractual completion dates, of October 2003 for Line A/C and December 2003 for Line B, will not be met and that the contractor involved has indicated a delay can be expected. The RPA has told me that, based on its projections, a more realistic timetable for completion would be

  • May 2004 for the Tallaght to Connolly Station line,
  • March 2004 for the Sandyford to St. Stephens Green line.

A period of up to 3 months will be required following these dates for testing, commissioning and general safety checking before passenger services commence. I have conveyed my concerns about the delays to the RPA and I have asked that all of the necessary steps are taken to ensure that services commence at the earliest possible date.

The initial budget submitted to the Department by CIE for the project was 466 million Euro in 1999 prices, based on preliminary estimates.  This budget was subsequently revised in February 2001 to 675 million Euro to take account of actual competition tender prices received, reflecting high inflation in the construction sector, higher than anticipated property acquisition costs and changes to the scope of the project, mainly related to the provision for upgrading Line B to metro status.  Capital funding for construction of the lines, estimated currently at 691 million Euro, is in place and the RPA have also made provision for risk. For contractual reasons, I do not wish to give any further details of the risk provision as to do so could prejudice ongoing negotiations with contractors in this regard.