SINN Féin’s Martina Anderson has said there is an urgent need to address the deficiencies of the rail network in the north west, including looking ways to extend the line across the region.
Said the Foyle MLA: “If you take even a glance at the rail network map of Ireland, you will notice the striking nonexistence of rail in the Northwest compared to other parts of the island.
“This is demonstrated by the fact that of the 54 stations in the entire six counties, only three are situated west of the Bann.
“More immediate upgrades such as ‘phase 3’ improvements for the Derry to Coleraine line are highly anticipated and should be delivered as soon as possible.
“However, we should also be engaging in long-term planning in order to address the stark disparity of the rail network in the region.
“I have now published a motion on addressing the deficiencies of the rail network in the north west.
“This motion calls on the Minister for Infrastructure to ensure that improving the current rail network west of the Bann, as well as exploring ways to extend the line further, is a critical part of her Department’s strategy in improving rail connectivity locally.
“Extending the line from Derry to Letterkenny and Derry to Strabane could also be a powerful first step to addressing the huge gaps in north west’s infrastructure.
“The Department for Infrastructure should work proactively with their counterparts in the south to explore this.
“Although we are in a period of uncertainty with great challenges ahead, we also need to be planning for the future.
“This should include delivering a public transport system that truly serves the whole island.”