Dublin's Metrolink will not be completed for another ten years, according to a draft strategy published by the National Transport Authority (NTA).
Another project that will not be completed until after 2031 is the Luas line to Finglas, according to the draft Greater Dublin Area Strategy 2022 to 2042.
However, DART extensions to Maynooth, Drogheda and Celbridge are due to go ahead under the first phase of the Greater Dublin Area Strategy 2022 to 2042.
Work on other DART extensions to Kilcock, Sallins/Naas and Wicklow will not be completed until after 2031.
Other priorities set out by the NTA to receive €25bn in capital funding over the next 20 years include BusConnects, upgrades to the Luas and DART lines, as well as improved walking and cycling infrastructure.
However, Metrolink - for which the cost is reported to have increased to €10bn - will not be completed until at least 2032.
The project's business case is currently being assessed by the Government and, according to the strategy, it is still expected to go for planning approval next year with construction not expected to start before 2025.
The CEO of the National Transport Authority has said Metro North is still a key project, it is part of the National Development Plan, as well as a key project that the NTA want to deliver as part of the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area.
Anne Graham said the NTA hopes to start construction on Metro North "as soon as possible" after planning permission is granted so it can be delivered for the people of Dublin in the early 2030s.
She said that it is due to go for planning permission next year, once they receive Government approval to proceed.
We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
In relation to not meeting the 2027 target for Metro North, Ms Graham said they now have a lot more information about the length of time it would take to construct and commission the Metro, which she said "has added some time in terms of the construction" and they also have to allow time for planning.
"We're confident that once we get going in terms of construction, we can get it operational in the time line that's being suggested," she added.
The NTA's Director of Transport Planning and Investment, Hugh Creegan said that the Metro South section would not be proceeding.
This would have involved upgrading the Luas Green line to Charlemont to Metro standard but a planned Luas line to Sandyford/UCD would mean this would not be needed.
Luas Finglas - the first of the Luas extensions - was originally meant to be built by 2028. It is now not due for completion until at least 2031.
Meanwhile, other Luas extensions that will not be completed until until after 2031 are Poolbeg, Lucan, and Bray.
Planning work will be carried out on eight future lines to Clongriffin, Balgriffin, Tyrellstown, Blanchardstown, Clondalkin, Tallaght/Kimmage, Tallaght/Knocklyon and UCD/Sandyford for construction sometime after 2042.
Postponements of large-scale public transport projects in the greater Dublin area mean Irish announcements on climate change at COP26 are 'very dishonest', Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy has said | Read more: https://t.co/I4GYBtnO8H pic.twitter.com/UoIWiXxJlZ— RTÉ News (@rtenews) November 9, 2021
NTA Project Manager David Clements said the aim of the strategy is to "provide a sustainable, accessible and effective transport system for the Greater Dublin Area which meets the region's climate change requirements, serves the needs of urban and rural communities, and supports economic growth".
The strategy aims to reduce car share from 58% to 49%, despite a population increase of 485,000 between 2016 and 2042.
It also aims to increase public transport numbers by 63% and reduce emissions by 69%.
Among the measures are car-free residential development, a reduction in public sector parking in the city centre and a network of 8,600 park and ride spaces.
There will be no "significant increase" for road space for cars in the metropolitan area, but a link road will connect the N3 and N4 to cater for issues that arise on the M50.
The Eastern Bypass, which was planned since the 1970s, involving a motorway and tunnel under Dublin Bay to link either end of the M50 is now "not proceeding".
However, there will be plans for a South Port Access Route to link the entrance to the Port Tunnel to the south port and surrounding areas.
The strategy would also postpone the DART Underground project beyond the lifetime of the plan.
There will not be any work on the underground line, which was once a priority and would have connected the Docklands to Heuston Station and linked with DART and Luas lines along the route.
The strategy states that for the DART Underground - originally called the Interconnector - it will "preserve and protect an alignment to allow its future delivery subsequent to the strategy period".
The strategy follows public consultation which generated around 4,000 submissions with 90% respondents agreeing that reliance on the private car should be reduced.
There will now be another round of public consultation on the draft strategy until 17 December.
Government challenged on plan by opposition
The Taoiseach told the Dáil that MetroLink "has not been postponed for another decade".
Speaking during Order of Business, Micheál Martin said it will require the cooperation of all in the Dáil to get the various transport projects for the capital through the Oireachtas.
He was responding to Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou MacDonald who criticised him for his "big talk for the international audience" and meanwhile back at home he was kicking the can down the road on public transport infrastructure.
Mr Martin said the project has not been delayed for a decade, that he did not know where Ms McDonald had got that figure from, and it was wrong of her to suggest it had been delayed for a decade.
The Tánaiste said Dublin's Metrolink will go ahead, but it will take until 2024 or 2025 to begin construction and at least five years thereafter to build, test and commission the service.
Leo Varadkar said the Government's priority for now is the development of Bus Connects and DART plus on certain lines, as well as the improvement of cycling and pedestrian facilities.
"You can only do one or two major projects at a time given costs and constraints around skills and staff and that's the priority for the next couple of years," Mr Varadkar said.
Meanwhile, People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy said that the delay in Metrolink proves that the Government's Climate Action Plan is nothing more than "blah, blah, blah".
He said the "only conclusion to draw" is that the Government has "fallen at the first hurdle" when it comes to emissions reduction, and the plan was launched only last week.