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Public consultation launched on all-island strategic rail review

The deadline for submissions as part of the public consultation is January 21, 2022.

Image: Iarnród Éireann

MEMBERS OF THE public have been invited to have their say on the future of rail on the island of Ireland as part of the all-island Strategic Rail Review, in a statement from Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and Infrastructure Minister for Northern Ireland, Nichola Mallon.

“We want to hear people’s views on how rail can support social and economic development across the island, enhance regional accessibility and improve connectivity between our major cities,” said Ryan.

According to the statement, gaining insight from stakeholders and the public is “critical in shaping and developing the rail network”.

Submissions are invited from anyone who is interested in the future of rail on the island of Ireland, with a look to the quality of life, economic activity, and environmental factors related to rail travel. 

Since coming into office, Mallon said she has been clear that it is her priority to address “regional imbalance, tackle the climate crisis and better connect communities across Ireland”.

She added: “I have huge ambitions for our all-island rail network and I believe it has massive untapped potential to deliver multiple benefits across our island.” 

There are “real opportunities for communities across the island”, she said, adding there are also other benefits to the environment and economy that would come from better connection.  

The Strategic Rail Review is part of the Irish government’s New Decade, New Approach agreement with the UK Government.

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The Review is being delivered by Arup consultants and overseen by the Department of Transport and the Department for Infrastructure, supported by the Commission for Rail Regulation, the National Transport Authority, Iarnród Éireann and Translink.

“This is an ambitious piece of work that will help inform our decision making and investment in our rail network for years to come so I would encourage everyone to get involved with the process and put forward their views,” Mallon said. 

“This is a unique opportunity to shape the future of connectivity across Ireland and I’m looking forward to hearing from communities across our island on what we can do together to deliver lasting change across our country.” 

The deadline for submissions as part of the public consultation is January 21, 2022. The final report of the Strategic Rail Review is expected to be completed by Q4 2022.

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