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Airport link could transform regional economy - Kearney

13 September, 2016 - by Declan Kearney

Sinn Féín MLA Declan Kearney said that investment in the rail link to Belfast International Airport could help transform the regional economy and to modernize local transport infrastructure.

Mr Kearney said:

“In my constituency of South Antrim there is along held local desire for the Lisburn to Antrim rail line to be restored.

“There has been a dramatic growth in the population within the wider Crumlin, Glenavy and Ballinderry area over the last 30 years with many commuting daily to Belfast in particular to work and school.

“The Antrim to Knockmore section of the Lisburn Antrim rail line runs directly past Belfast International Airport, yet there is no connection.

“I understand the business case which argues that passenger numbers in the airport do not meet the criteria for a direct rail connection for Belfast.

“However, if the proper standard of transport infrastructure including rail provision is put in place economic growth, new investment and population expansion will continue to follow.

“I understand the Minister must contend with unremitting pressure on his Departmental budget; the impacts of worsening austerity due to British Tory policy; and the unforeseen economic and investment damage caused by Brexit.

“Investing in rail services between Belfast and the regional airport; and also the Lisburn to Antrim rail link, should be seen as a strategic opportunity to help transform the regional economy and to modernize local transport infrastructure, particularly in my South Antrim constituency.”

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