Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources and Fine Gael TD for Galway West and Mayo South, Seán Kyne is urging people in Galway and the west to take part in the public consultation on the future of the railway in Ireland.
The consultation is being organized by the National Transport Authority which regulates a range of transport services across the country and follows the launch by the Authority and Iarnród Éireann.
The rail review is a comprehensive analysis on the railway network in Ireland including usage information, services and routes as well as the investment needs of Iarnród Éireann.
“The public consultation on the ‘Rail Review’ is important as the report will influence the shape and future of railway services in our country.
“It is particularly significant to Galway and the West due to the Western Rail Corridor. The annual Heavy Rail Survey, undertaken last November and published in September 2016, showed that 1,174 users the WRC on rail census day giving a figure of over 400,000 journeys per year,” he said.
“It is telling that the initial focus of publicity surrounding the Rail Review has been on the railway lines outside Dublin, particularly in Tipperary but also the Galway to Limerick line. Railways need investment if they are to be successful in providing an alternative mode of transport, for work or for leisure. Railways are a social good designed to provide a service to the public first and foremost. The WRC which faced substantial opposition has proved its detractors wrong.
“The Rail Review will be influential and will more than likely impact on the expansion of the WRC northwards from Athenry to Claremorris and beyond which I firmly support. Another project which could be hugely beneficial is a rail connection to Shannon Airport.
“The people of the West deserve public transport just as much as those living in the Greater Dublin Area. That’s why it is vital that as many as possible in the West have their say on a report which will play a significant role in determining the maintenance and expansion of the railways,” he concluded.