Sinn Féin Mayo TD, Rose Conway-Walsh, has welcomed cross-party support for the party’s motion on regional transport infrastructure and called for it to be backed by real action.
The motion called on the government to undertake rural impact assessments, deliver a new all-Ireland ‘National Aviation Policy’, protect all intercity bus services, and deliver key public transport projects like the Western Rail Corridor.
Speaking after the debate in the Dáil, Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“This motion was a direct response to government failure to deliver on very modest demands for investment in infrastructure in the regions.
“Many saw the National Development Plan as a litmus test of the Government’s commitment to regional development – a test they failed.
“We saw government TDs across the country particularly in rural Ireland sharing Sinn Féin’s and many other commentators view that the NDP simply didn’t deliver for rural Ireland.
“I welcome the fact that government TDs took that second chance and backed the Sinn Féin motion.
“The Western Rail Corridor is widely recognised as a key public and freight transport infrastructure that is a necessary catalyst for Regional Development. It is shovel ready. The business case is robust as clearly analysed in the recent Dr John Bradley report. Over a decade of intensive work has been done by those who have relentlessly and tirelessly worked on the West on Track Campaign.
“The West won’t forgive another government for failing to deliver this project.
“That is one of the reasons why the support for this Sinn Féin motion needs to be a turning point in the governments approach to rural Ireland, regional development and public transport.
“The imperative to deliver public transport has never been more important in the context of climate change and balanced regional development.
“That the Western Rail Corridor must now be reopened and prioritised as a capital project is agreed by all parties. No more delays.”