Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport and Communications, Martin Kenny TD, has welcomed the All Island Rail Review, a draft of which was published today.
He said that the review was further evidence that the government must step up and deliver an action plan with clear timelines to invest in and grow our rail networks.
Among the review’s recommendations are an increase in frequency of routes between major cities, decarbonisation of the rail network, and increasing rail capacity for freight.
Teachta Kenny said:
“The publication of this long-awaited draft review is a step in the right direction, but what we really need now is for government to step up and deliver an action plan with clear timelines to invest in and grow our rail networks.
“Successive Fine Gael and Fianna Fianna Fáil governments have not only failed to invest, but for decades they have actively dismantled and destroyed valuable rail infrastructure.
“Sinn Féin is committed to development of our valuable rail networks in government. We can see the real transformation of public transport that can be achieved right across the island with timely investment. We want to deliver that for workers, families and pensioners.
“In particular, we need to see movement on the Western Rail Corridor without any further delay. The west has been lagging behind for decades when it comes to investment in infrastructure and this cannot continue.
“A European Commission report ranked the northwest 113th out of 200 regions in terms of infrastructure investment – regions outside of Dublin must have proper infrastructure development in order to develop economically.
“We must also see a prioritisation of the Navan rail-line, which needs to be urgently extended. The area is a bustling commuter town and it must be served properly and efficiently by public transport.
“I look forward to examining the recommendations related to these projects, as well as the recommendations around the development of cross-border rail links which are essential.
“This is an all-island review and is a departure from the norm, which is very much welcome.
“The review has now provided the government with the information to deliver for people right across the island.
“This must not become one of the many reports that just sits on a shelf while this current government is in office.
“The government must consider the recommendations, and commit to an action plan to invest and grow our rail networks.”