Building Ireland of Equals must include building physical infrastructure across the island
Sinn Féin Transport Spokesperson, Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has said that building the physical transport infrastructure across Ireland is an essential part of Sinn Féin's vision for the future.
Speaking in the Assembly Mr McCartney said:
"Sinn Féin are committed to building an Ireland of Equals - building because that in essence is what we must do - build the very physical transport infrastructure to deliver that Ireland we are striving towards.
"There is an over reliance on the car. It has reached breaking point. The status we place and the over emphasis on the car is incomparable to our European neighbours. The stress and quality of life we are meant to enjoy suffers as we continue to destroy our environment as we wait endlessly in traffic on our way to work, school, the local shop, and so on.
"Donegal at the beginning of the last century had some 200 miles or more of rail network with 4 rail operators - now has not a single mile of rail track running today. The argument for rail in Donegal is enhanced by the retention and upgrading of the line to Derry and vice versa and that Derry should in turn be linked to Sligo and so on.
"Working with the Irish Government and indeed exploiting the EU platform to establish what should not be viewed as a Cross Border or All Ireland infrastructure project rather we should seek to see the establishment of a Internationally accredited rail route spanning the full Western Corridor from Derry to Kerry in a loop covering the whole island.
"The unfortunate position of unionists who want to reduce the scope of the problem we face - in failing to accept that rail has to be tackled on an island wide basis will ultimately undermine the need for rail in the North except for a small corridor in and around Belfast. The benefits of proper of a proper rail network are obvious - environmental, social, economical, and so on.
"This weekend with yet more deaths on our roads also points up the undoubted safety of rail travel and this should not be lost on policy makers and decision makers. This is a situation we all must be work to bring to an end. So with investors, commuters and tourists looking towards alternative and modern modes of transport for business, work, and pleasure how can we encourage people to move away from the car." ENDS