Fianna Fáil TD for Louth Declan Breathnach is urging rail users to make submissions to the National Transport Authority’s consultation process on the future of rail services in Ireland.
Deputy Breathnach says it’s particularly important that people using the Dublin - Belfast Enterprise service and commuter trains from Drogheda and Dundalk make their views known.
Deputy Breathnach said, “The rail service in Louth is a vital piece of transport and economic infrastructure, with nearly five million people making journeys on the Dublin - Drogheda commuter service every year. The route provides a comfortable and reliable rail link to Dublin, which is not only important for local people but is also significant in attracting tourists to the area."
“The National Transport Authority is currently seeking views from the public regarding how our rail network should develop over the coming years. I am encouraging people to have their say in this consultation. There has been much commentary on the need to close rail services in recent years, but I firmly believe we should focus on developing our rail network and increase passenger numbers."
“It’s well acknowledged that Dublin is experiencing a growing housing crisis which is having a detrimental impact on working families. People are finding it impossible to secure adequate accommodation in the capital and are forced to pay huge amounts of money each month on rent which is putting pressure on household budgets. I believe the development of our rail network should form a key part of our housing strategy to overcome these problems."
“People would be happy to live in towns and villages within commuting distance of Dublin if they are assured that they will have strong public transport links to the capital in the years ahead. Irish Rail needs to step up to the plate and provide this certainty. There is an opportunity to improve our existing rail links in Louth and grow the number of services available to commuters. This will make it more attractable for people to live in towns such Dundalk and Drogheda, and will provide a much needed boost to local business in the long run."
“The deadline for submissions for the consultation process is next Wednesday, 18th January. I am encouraging all rail users, businesses and those involved in the tourism sector to outline the importance of our rail network and the benefits that ca be reaped by developing new services in the years ahead.”