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Matthews calls on NTA to include Wicklow DART extension in upcoming transport strategy

Date: 6 August 2021

Green Party TD Steven Matthews is calling on the National Transport Agency NTA to see the sense in extending the DART to Wicklow Town and to include this objective in the new Greater Dublin Area transport strategy.

"I have been working on the prospect of extending an electrified DART service to Wicklow Town for many years. I have looked at the environmental, societal, and economic benefits and they all make sense as does the business and commercial case for extending the service to serve Wicklow.

"I have been consistently raising this plan over the years with the NTA and Department and in the past, they committed to my request at Wicklow County Council to look at the idea. We have come a long way since then and we are now in a period of major investment in public transport with the DART+ proposals to greatly extend the DART service across the major Dublin rail lines. The NTA now need to do more than just ‘look’ at the idea, they need to commit to this objective and finally allow the people of Wicklow to have the proper and frequent rail service they require.

"I believe that there is good support for my proposal across Wicklow and from Wicklow County Council but to take it to the next stage of development it needs to be included in the NTA transport strategy.

"I would envisage that the extension to Wicklow Town will be part of the DART+ Coastal phase and that the engineering design and planning of the extension should be included in that project. By extending the overhead electrified system to Wicklow it can serve a new stop at Charlesland South, Newcastle and Kilcoole, and with Irish Rail having purchased Battery Electric Trains there is scope to serve the rest of the county as far as Arklow including reopening stops at Avoca and Glenealy.

"The NTA have extensive transport responsibilities and have carried out and funded many public transport, cycling and pedestrian schemes and improvements with Wicklow County Council across the entire county. The DART extension to Wicklow Town would be the most significant transport improvement scheme in the county and I am urging the NTA to recognise this and ensure that it is included in their transport strategy.



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