Mayo Co. Council Cathaoirleach calls for restoration of Mayo-Galway rail link – Aug 2017

August 4, 2017

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Pictured above: (L-R), Seán Canney TD, Cllr Richard Finn, Cathaoirleach, Mayo Co. Council and Cllr Michael Connolly, Chair of the Western Inter-County Rail committee.

The new Cathaoirleach of Mayo Co. Council, Cllr. Richard Finn, has reiterated his full support for the restoration of freight and passenger services on the western rail corridor, beginning with the restoration of the Mayo-Galway rail link and called for the rail infrastructure to be protected for that purpose.
Addressing a meeting of the Western Inter-County Rail committee in Claremorris, attended by councillors from across the region Cllr. Finn told members that the provision of key infrastructure was critical to the development of the west and north-west and key to any medium or long-term programme such as the Atlantic Economic Corridor plan.
“As well as targeted local investment we now also need to look at the big picture across the regions. Galway is our regional capital, yet the rail link from Mayo to Galway (and to Limerick, Cork and Waterford) remains unused. As a result, rail passenger services are being denied to the large numbers of people travelling daily between Galway and Mayo while rail freight services, which are a critical element of enterprise and job creation in County Mayo, are being denied direct access to the port of Waterford and to Foynes when it reopens. In the coming post-Brexit environment this link will be even more crucial allowing our exports to reach Europe directly without twice encountering the planned barriers in the UK.

Stressing the need for the protection of the railway for future development, Cllr. Finn said the continued disuse of the railway was not sustainable either from an environmental or economic perspective.

“It would be extremely unwise to allow this key infrastructure to be ripped up and replaced with a bicycle track or greenway when there are numerous other options available for such tracks. Members will note that Mayo Co. Council is actively protecting the railway in line with the County Development Plan and the Regional Planning Guidelines while at the same time developing an ambitious programme of greenways in areas of high visual amenity. This is the way forward and will ensure that we retain our railway while developing other tourist attractions,” he concluded.

ENDS

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