SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that the All Island Strategic Rail Review represents a once in a generation opportunity to restore rail infrastructure across the North.
Mr Eastwood was speaking ahead of the publication of the review draft commissioned by SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon and Irish Transport Minister Eamon Ryan in 2021.
Colum Eastwood MP said today:
“Securing the first detailed review of rail infrastructure across Ireland was one of the SDLP’s significant achievements in the last term of government. Commissioning the review in cooperation with the Irish Government, we understood the immense practical benefits that investing in rail will have for people in the North and across our island.
“We now have a £30bn rail restoration plan that will help decarbonise transport across Ireland, connect people and opportunities in communities that have been severed from economic investment for far too long and bring people across our island closer together.
“I am particularly glad that the restoration of rail from Letterkenny to Derry and on to Portadown is a key recommendation of the review. The withdrawal of rail services in the West has left substantial scars on communities here that have never healed because the promised investment in roads infrastructure was abandoned for decades. This plan is a rededication to people in the West.
“The SDLP’s mission is to end division and build a new Ireland. The All Island Strategic Rail Review is an ambitious example of how we can end the physical divisions between communities and connect people, particularly in the west, to new opportunities that will help to build a modern, connected and prosperous new Ireland.”