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Crowe - Rail plan lacks vision

3 April, 2003

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Transport, Seán Crowe has described the Strategic Rail Review published today as lacking in vision and offering little in the way of the radical reform we were promised.

The Dublin South-West TD said: "For a review that promised radical change as part of the most extensive review of our rail service ever taken, I feel we have been short-changed. It lacks vision, ambition and any coherent sense of the need to expand our rail services.

"There is no commitment to balanced regional development. There is little comfort for people living in the west of Ireland who were promised a Western Rail Corridor.

"The report also lacks any serious attempt to build an All-Ireland rail transport system. There is an urgent need for extension of the rail network to the North-West of the island. A Dublin to Derry line would cater for thousands of people living in counties like Donegal, Tyrone, Armagh, Monaghan and others.

"While I certainly welcome investing in the rail services we have and in attempting to improve them, we need to be expanding our rail network now to cater for the needs of the future. If this Government is serious about balanced development, it must look beyond this review, and I am pleased to note the comments of the Minister that he will not consider himself bound by this document but will be open to looking beyond it." ENDS

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