June 23, 2021
MacManus Welcomes Report Showing Strong Business Case For Western Rail Corridor

MacManus Welcomes Report Showing Strong Business Case For Western Rail Corridor
Sinn Fein MEP Chris MacManus has welcomed the publication of a report by leading economist Doctor John Bradley, which has found that there is a very strong business case for the reopening of the Western Rail Corridor. The Midlands North West MEP has reiterated his call for the “Western Rail Corridor to be reopened as a key driver of addressing regional imbalance in the west of Ireland.”

Dr. Bradley was Research Professor at the ESRI and has published extensively on the island economy of Ireland, EU cohesion policy, industrial strategy and economic modelling”

MacManus said:
“I want to welcome the publication of this report today by Dr John Bradley. It confirms what Sinn Fein have been saying for years – that there is a strong business case for the Western Rail Corridor and that it should be reopened and prioritised as a capital infrastructure project.”

“The report contains a number of positive findings, including that the rail line from Athenry to Claremorris can be completed by 2025, delivered at a cost of just €154 million which represents excellent value for money and expect 575,000 passengers per annum. It recognises the importance of connectivity to the southern ports of Foynes, Cork and Waterford and the potential for the growth of freight services that these connections would bring. I am also pleased with the finding that there is a strong case to extend the rail line to Sligo in future.”

“This is a very welcome development following the botched EY Report published earlier this year, which contained a number of factual errors on key matters and as a result has very little credibility. That report took a very narrow focus, focusing solely on reopening the passenger route, while ignoring rail freight capability and the economic and social benefits of reopening the Western Rail Corridor. Thankfully these issues have been addressed in Dr Bradley’s report which looks at the rail line in a wider, regional context.”

“The findings of this report have made it clear that the Western Rail Corridor needs to be reopened. The Government cannot ignore this report and need to respond positively. If they are serious about balanced regional development and ensuring that communities in the west have a sustainable future in terms of employment, the Western Rail Corridor must be reopened without delay.” ENDS

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