MacManus welcomes progress made in EU Rail Passenger Rights Proposals
Sinn Féin MEP praises progress on enhanced Rights of Passengers with Mobility issues
Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has welcomed progress on proposals to make rail services more accessible and strengthen the rights of passengers.
“Last week the European Parliament voted on amendments to the second reading of the EUs Rail passengers’ rights and obligations proposals. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to engage with these proposals and voted on amendments to strengthen the rights of rail passengers.”
“Among some of the proposals MEPs voted on was to reduce the notice period passengers with certain mobility issues need to give the services should they require assistance boarding or disembarking a train. I was pleased to vote to reduce the notice period required from 24 to 12 hours. Proposals like this are vital if we are committed to offering everyone access to a decent and reliable transport system.
The Midlands Northwest MEP also argued that the growing demand for rail services in Ireland highlights the need for increased investment in rail services, in particular to reopen the Western Rail Corridor.
“In 2019 Iarnród Éireann recorded over 50 million passenger journeys, its highest ever number. Rail is becoming an increasingly attractive transport option, and as we move towards a low carbon future, it’s vital that we continue to increase rail usage in Ireland. These measures will help to achieve that by increasing accessibility and consumer confidence.”
MacManus said rail investment could address major regional imbalances that have damaged the Midlands Northwest region. “To accommodate this growing demand for rail, it’s important that we also invest in increased rail services to provide rail transport as an option to communities across the country. In particular we need the Western Rail Corridor re-opened to provide rail transport in the regions that need it most. The Navan line in Co. Meath is of similar importance and would be hugely beneficial to that area. Sinn Féin have been at the forefront of this issue throughout Ireland and will continue to fight for the development of rail networks in rural Ireland.”
The Midlands Northwest MEP concluded by highlighting the benefits rail investment would bring to the region. “Investing in rail would not only help us reach our climate targets, but it would also help address regional imbalances and contribute significantly to reversing the decline of the Midlands Northwest region. The economic benefits it would bring would provide an enormous boost to communities across the region and allow us to compete with other regions in attracting both foreign and indigenous investment, growing jobs and ensuring that our communities have a sustainable future.” ENDS