MetroLink railway application published, to be lodged with An Bord Pleanála tomorrow

— 942 bicycle parking spots planned for Swords station, but low numbers at other stations.

An application for a railway order — a type of planning permission — for MetroLink is be lodged with An Bord Pleanála tomorrow and has been published online at

MetroLink is the latest version of a long-planned 19.4km metro railway line between Swords and Dublin City Centre. The project is partly modelled on the Cophagain Metro and will use similar automated, driverless trains.

The plans include 16 stations, including at Dublin Airport, a link to the planned Dart+ lines to Maynooth and Hazelhatch and Celbridge at a new Glasnevin interchange, a connection to Luas and buses at O’Connell Street, a link to Dart at Tara, and it will terminate at Charlemont Luas Stop.

There is a provision of 942 bicycle parking spots planned for the central Swords station but zero bicycle parking at O’Connell Street and relatively low numbers at stations such as Glasnevin with 120 spaces, Tara with 256 spaces, St Stephen’s Green with 74 spaces, and Charlemont with 162 spaces. See further details below.

Some observers will feel a sense of déjà vu as we have been here before with the Metro North project obtained full planning permission from An Bord Pleanála in 2011 but the Government chose not to build the project due to the economic downturn — even those international experts say that at such a time is the best time to borrow for and start large projects.

Construction phase — impacts on cycling

Regarding impacts on cycling during construction the lead project agency Transport Infrastructure Ireland promises that: “Temporary management measures have been developed to minimize the impact on cyclists and ensure the quality and ease of cyclist movements throughout the works areas. Temporary cycle lanes will be installed where appropriate and provisions will be made to ensure safe and direct routes are maintained.”

Cycle paths on R132 Swords Bypass

The Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) traffic and transport report for the project states that “cycle lanes will be provided on both sides of the R132 Swords Bypass as part of the proposed Project.”

It added: “Crossing facilities are also provided on the R132 Swords Bypass. This has a significant positive impact on the Quality of Service for cyclists in the area, progressing from a Level C to a Level A Quality of Service (QoS) at Estuary Station. The R132 Swords Bypass in the vicinity of Seatown Station and Swords Central will maintain a Level B QoS, with the R132 in the vicinity of Fosterstown Station will progress from a Level C to Level B QoS. There will also be a two-way cycle lane to the east of the proposed station, with linkages to the proposed bike parking and Park and Ride facility.”

However, project drawings show that there’s only a cycle path into but none out of one of the access points to the Estuary Park and Ride station.

Bicycle parking at stations

The transport report said that TII developed a methodology which includes looking at the predicted passenger demand for the opening year and after five years to determine the potential demand for bicycle parking.

The report said: “Other factors such as the availability of land, potential future land-uses and parking supply and the location of the station have also been taken into consideration by the design team in determining the quantum of cycle parking spaces provided.”

Estuary Station

A “total of 254 cycle spaces-located next to the station”.

Seatown Station

“480 cycle spaces are proposed- a landscaped plaza is located in front of the entrance to the station with a building for bicycle storage offset to the east side of the plaza with a provision for 240 bicycles. A further 240 bicycles spaces will be provided located along the landscaped boundary with the R132 and on the east side of the station building.”

Swords Central Station

“942 cycle spaces are proposed- a bicycle storage building is proposed, offset and slightly in front of the plaza on one of the access routes to the station, which is designed to accommodate 471 bicycles. A further 471 spaces will be provided around the station.”

Fosterstown Station

“422 cycle spaces are proposed- a bicycle storage building will be provided in front of the station building, separated by the plaza and angled to reduce its dominance overlooking the plaza ad station entrance. The building will provide covered storage for 211 bicycles with a further 211 spaces provided at locations around the station but set back from pedestrian desire lines.”

Dublin Airport

“Given the nature of the station as an airport the methodology utilised for determining cycle demand at
the other stations would not be applicable at Dublin Airport. A provision of 72 cycle spaces has been provided at the station, this will accommodate workers and passenger that may cycle to the station to travel into Dublin City Centre or to Swords. This parking provision will link to the existing cycle network around the airport.”


“Informed by the adopted methodology it is proposed that 204 cycle spaces will be provided at
Northwood Station to accommodate the predicted demand. Half of the proposed cycle parking will be
located in a purpose-build building, and half will be accommodated by stands around the station.”

Ballymun Station

“292 cycle spaces proposed- half will be located in a cycle and café building and half in stands.

Collins Avenue

“370 cycle spaces are proposed- half will be provided within a covered structure, and the remainder in stands”

Griffith Park

“176 cycle spaces are proposed- half will be located in an underground bicycle parking facility and the remainder in on-street bicycle stands.”


“120 proposed cycle spaces are proposed.”


“70 cycle spaces are proposed, located on a shared surface plaza to Eccles Street.”

O’Connell Street

“No cycle spaces are proposed.”

Tara Street

“256 cycle spaces are proposed- half will be provided under cover and half will be located in bicycle racks.”

St Stephen’s Green

“82 cycle spaces are proposed within [the] vicinity of the station.”


“162 cycle spaces are proposed located surface section on the public plaza at Dartmouth Road.”


  1. I’m in my 30s and have to wonder which I will get first, my free travel scheme pass or a journey on the metro north/metrolink.

    Bike parking numbers are a step in the right direction considering the zero thought that has gone into previous projects. When you compare the 3000 space park and ride facility to the number of bike parking spaces, they clearly still aren’t taking it seriously.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.