Senator Lisa Chambers has called for the All-Ireland Strategic Rail Review to be published as soon as ready for publication, regardless of the continuing impasse in Northern Ireland.
This comes after the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has said he will not public the All-Ireland Strategic Rail Review as a result of the lack of an executive in Northern Ireland as the document examines railways on the island of Ireland.
Minister Ryan has indicated the rail review was due to be published in a month, however, his position of not publishing until there is an executive in the North could lead to delays of a year or more.
Senator Chambers has said this position results in there being an open-ended delay on the publication of the report as Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton Harris, has said that he will not be calling assembly elections for another year.
“I think it now is the time for the Minister to reflect to change his position and to publish without further delay the All-Island strategic review so that we here in Ireland on the site can advance our rail projects. Surely, it’s not reasonable or acceptable to delay the advancement of our rail projects, while we wait for politics in Northern Ireland to get its act together,” said the Mayo Senator.
Senator Chambers has raised this issue a number of times with Minister Eamon Ryan and has urged him to move on with publishing the report when it is ready for the advancement of rail infrastructure across the country.
Senator Chambers said, “We believe that the review will recommend that the Western Rail Corridor will reopen and while this is welcome, we need to have the review published without delay to allow work to begin on making this happen. This rail corridor is crucial to the economy of the west of Ireland, and particularly Mayo. The publication of the strategic rail review will allow this to move forward and I am particularly conscious of the importance of the Athenry to Claremorris section which is badly needed for people living and doing business in those regions.”