Pre-Christmas Cheer for Rail Users – Breen

November 5th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has today welcomed the news that there is no threat to services on the Limerick/Ennis/Limerick Rail Services. Deputy Breen has received confirmation from Iarnrod Eireann that contrary to recent reports that they were set to reduce service on the line, that in fact they intend to expand their weekday services.

“Following recent reports that there was a threat to services on the Limerick/Ennis/Limerick Rail Service I contacted Iarnrod Eireann voicing my concern at any plan to axe services on this route and I am delighted to have received confirmation from Jim Meade, Regional Manager, this week that the opposite is actually the case.”

“They are planning to improve their weekday service and they will also be adding an additional evening service departing Houston to Ennis at 18.00. This is very welcome news as the Ennis/Limerick Commuter Service is proving a major success with over 600 commuters estimated daily to be availing of the current services.”

“Their plans also include the reopening of the rail line between Ennis and Athenry will facilitate the restoration of services on the route after a gap of 33 years. This service was originally due to operate in 2008, I now understand that a number of checks are currently being carried out on the line and the hope is that it will be operational by mid-December. When it is up and running Iarnrod Eireann are going have operate 5 services each way on the line.”

“The addition of a rail stop in Sixmilebridge has been anticipated now for some time and work is well underway of the project. While it is almost ready for passenger services, that there are still issues regarding car parking and access to the platform which need to be resolved, and I understand that Clare County Council is currently working to resolve these.”

“The development of Rail Services linking Ennis, Limerick and Galway will be a big boost to the Region. A regular bus service linking the new commuter stop at Sixmilebridge with Shannon Airport will also make the Airport more accessible for the flying public. However, it is important that Iarnrod Eireann is not expected by the Government to market these services solely from within their own budget. The recent Tourism Renewal Group recommended coordinating public spending on tourism related projects and this is very important if we are to derive the maximum benefit from the availability of these services. I would urge the Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism Martin Cullen to make additional funding available for Regional Marketing when he sits down to share out his budget for 2010.”