As a resident of the Lagan Valley area, I welcome the ambitious All Island Rail Review and believe this is an opportunity to enhance regional and rural accessibility between areas like like Ballinderry and Glenavy to Lisburn, Antrim, Derry, Dublin and Cork.
Additionally it will contribute to decarbonisation by opening up a public transit line in an area of growing commuter residence, along with connections to other major transport infrastructure.
Re-opening the Knockmore Line will improve all island connectivity by providing a potential high speed connection between the North-West and South-East, including Dublin, Waterford and Cork.
Furthermore, the re-opening of the Knockmore line has the potential to foster economic activity by connecting Lisburn, Ballinderry and Glenavy to the rapidly developing Eastern Economic Corridor and the new opportunities for manufacturing that exist as a result.
This is the key gap in rail provision in the Belfast region - a rail connection between growing population centres between Lisburn and Antrim. Your SDLP team here in Lagan Valley believe re-establishing this line as an operational part of the all island rail network will be an important part of achieving the review's goals.