Anderson welcomes Minister’s commitment on getting Derry rail upgrade “back on track”
Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has welcomed a commitment from the Minister for Infrastructure to conduct an updated feasibility study on the Derry-Coleraine phase 3 rail upgrade.
The Foyle MLA who sits on the Infrastructure Committee said
“This is a welcome step towards ensuring that Derry has a modern and sustainable rail infrastructure that is fit for purpose.
“I questioned the Minister on this last month and I was informed that the department has severe budgetary constraints but that options were being considered.
“I am glad that since then, the Minister has committed to getting the Phase 3 rail upgrade back on track and that an updated feasibility study will be conducted. It is absolutely vital that this takes place and upgrade work finally begins as scheduled in 2021.
“Developing a comprehensive transportation network is essential for economic growth and helping to address regional inequalities.
“Currently, only one train leaves Derry in the morning and arrives in Belfast before 9am- it is completely unsuitable for those working in Belfast.
“3 million people travelled on the Derry-Belfast line last year and when an hourly service was finally facilitated from Derry to Belfast passenger numbers leapt by a massive 40%- there is enormous local demand for rail infrastructure.
“After decades of economic neglect, improved rail links will help transform the economic fortunes of the North West, and provide a more sustainable mode of travel fit for the 21st Century.”