Greens call for the protection of regional rail routes

29th April, 2020

Green Party Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Joe O’Brien has called for assurances from Irish Rail that any services that have been suspended since the outbreak of Covid-19 will be brought back into operation as soon as possible.

Deputy O’Brien stated that:

“Public transport must take a lead in the recovery of the economy and communities from Covid-19. For this to happen the services must be ready and waiting for people to return to. I have particular concerns about the Waterford to Limerick Junction service in this regard. The service was suspended during the crisis and in our view it needs to be put back into operation as soon as possible. It provides and essential transport link to hundreds of people on a daily basis. People in Waterford and Limerick are worried that this temporary suspension may turn into something more permanent. To facilitate social distancing public transport should be running at higher capacity not lower. Rail services are key lifelines for many towns across the regions and they will play a key part in the country’s recovery from Covid-19.

Green Party TD for Waterford, Marc Ó Cathasaigh, believes that the Waterford to Limerick Junction line is an important piece of infrastructure in planning the future growth of Waterford City and for providing connectivity for sustainable travel across the region:

“With changes to timetabling, this service has the capacity to sustainably expand the working population available to Waterford City, linking it with significant populations in Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir, for example. While the temporary closure of the line to facilitate staff redeployment may be acceptable in the context of the Covid emergency, we will be insisting on its reopening once the immediate crisis has passed.”