Sinn Féin Mayo TD, Rose Conway-Walsh has slammed the government for failing to give a firm commitment to the reopening of the Western Rail Corridor in the National Development Plan.
Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“The Western Rail Corridor has become a by-word for regional development and investment in the West and is a huge source of frustration given the repeated failures to progress the project.
“Not including the project in the National Development Plan is a real missed opportunity for the government to show that it is committed to regional development in the West.
“We have huge opportunities for growth potential in the green economy along the western seaboard. We must maximise on the potential of the Atlantic Economic Corridor with sustainable investment in the Western Rail Corridor, Ireland West Airport, telecommunications, roads and education infrastructure.
“The publication of an economic report by Dr John Bradley earlier this year confirmed what Sinn Féin 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 West of Ireland cannot reach its full potential without significant State and EU investment in infrastructure. The National Development Plan was the litmus test of the Government’s commitment regional development in the West – a test they have failed.
“The government has given a commitment to address regional imbalance and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Minister Ryan has publicly expressed his commitment to the reopening of the Western Rail Corridor.
“Despite government TDs in the West and the Minister for Transport himself claiming to support the project it has again been excluded.
“This is not the time for hiding behind the strategic rail review. It is the time for bold investment decisions to address regional imbalance yet we have another government failing to show any ambition or vision for the West of Ireland.
“Sinn Féin remain committed to the Western Rail Corridor and will not give up until this project is delivered.”