Rail line closures must be based on partial truths and poor analysis – Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called for a more complete reassessment of the viability of at least one of the four Iarnród Éireann routes that are being earmarked for closure. Deputy McGrath was speaking after it was announced that the Limerick to Ballybrophy, Limerick Junction to Waterford and Gorey to Rosslare routes are in line to be axed along with the Ennis to Athenry route:

“I think most of us accept that there are significant challenges in terms of justifying the continued operation of the Ballybrophy line when it appears to cost almost €800 per passenger.

That being the case, the same cannot be said for the Limerick Junction to Waterford route where I know for a fact that demand is of such a level as to fully justify its retention.

Buses regularly have to be provided to transport passengers along that route, passengers which should be on the train itself.

If the submission to the Labour Court by Iarnród Éireann, which contains these proposals, does not contain a full explanation of why this is occurring and how this impacts on the perceived lack of use of the route then it is at the very least extremely misleading and inaccurate.

I am calling on Iarnród Éireann to fully commit to the proper utilisation of that route, which will in turn create viability and remove any threat or need of closure.

We are already very poorly serviced in this part of the country in terms of transport infrastructure. The last thing we need is to have existing services targeted that are capable of being maintained,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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