NW Rail on SDLP Conference Agenda - Dallat
RAIL links between the North West and the Republic of Ireland will be on the agenda at the SDLP’s annual conference in Armagh on November 9 and 10.
A motion submitted by the party’s Spokesperson on Regional Development John Dallat reads: “Conference calls on the Minister for Regional Development to engage with his counterpart in the republic to prepare a plan for the installation of an all-island network of railways including:
an intercity high speed service between Derry and Belfast; the reopening of the Knockmore line to provide a direct link between Derry and Dublin; and capital investment in the Enterprise service between Belfast and Dublin. Conference calls on the Minister to make a submission to the European Union for funding.”
Speaking in advance of the conference John Dallat said: “There is frustration within the SDLP on the lack of progress in rebuilding what was systematically severed at the time of partition and since. We are now 14 years into the Good Friday Agreement which put great importance on constructing cross-border co-operation as a key to reconciliation and eventually unity between our people. That process has been held up and this is unacceptable.
“On a positive note we welcome an increased awareness from Dublin-based parties on the need to work much harder at building cross-border co-operation as an absolute end to fulfilling the principles of the Good Friday Agreement.
“Transport is key to any communications strategy and here the North West has faired poorly especially in terms of rail transport. The capital investment simply hasn’t happened and indeed it has been hard work to get the money to keep the existing network functioning.
“The section between Derry and Coleraine is currently under reconstruction after a fight to get the funding which disappeared under the watch of the previous Minister for Regional Development Conor Murphy. The section of rail between Antrim and Lisburn which could enable a direct line to Dublin is still mothballed with no date for re-opening and that is totally unacceptable.
“In the meantime there is a growing realization that the case should have been with the European Union years ago as the SDLP had called for but was ignored. Now that fight must recommence so that the North West becomes part of an all-ireland network fit for tourism and all the other needs of a modern rail network.”
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Weather for Londonderry
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North west