“Minister Ryan must now turn his words into actions” – MacManus welcomes minister’s positivity on Western Rail Corridor project
Following reports this week of Minister for Transport Eamonn Ryan pledging to protect the Western Rail Corridor line for rail use, Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has called for Ryan to turn his words into action.
“Firstly I welcome the fact that government are now speaking positively about the project and are beginning to understand the huge potential the infrastructure has for the west. The reopening of the line is long overdue and the widely discredited EY Report should not be used as an excuse to delay it any longer. Fighting for balanced regional development has been a core principle of my work as an MEP and in my opinion the West & Northwest have all too often been left behind in terms of infrastructural investment and that must end. I have continually highlighted the need for the Western Rail Corridor at an EU level since commencing my term and will continue to do so.“
MacManus said the project would be a much needed boost for the west and any talk of choosing rail over greenway or visa versa should be dismissed. “I think we need to aim higher and start working together. Firstly the rail aspect is a no brainer. This rail project would connect the entire Western Seaboard from Derry to Galway through Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo and Mayo, providing a much needed boost for these counties. I believe a greenway for cycling and walking should be central in the development of this project too. It should not be a case of either/or. This region needs and deserves an infrastructural investment of real ambition and I will be doing all I can at a European level to make sure the project is advanced.”
The Midlands Northwest MEP concluded, “In this the EU year of Rail, Ireland’s Western and Northwestern counties must be at the core of any investment in infrastructural development.” ENDS