Seanad debates

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Rail Network

10:30 am

Photo of Malcolm ByrneMalcolm Byrne (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State very much for coming to the House. I am very conscious that Government policy is to increase the number of people using public transport. Senator Casey and I come from Wicklow and Wexford respectively, for which the Rosslare rail line is particularly important.If we want to get people out of their cars and not using the M11 when travelling through our counties to and from Dublin, we will need to have a good rail service but, unfortunately, we do not have the best rail service. If I want to travel back to Gorey by train this evening, the last train leaves Dublin at 6.30 p.m. The service beyond Bray or Greystones is still very limited.

Particularly at a time when Rosslare Europort is growing to the extent it is, something that is very welcome post Brexit, much of the focus is on freight at present but we are going to see increased passenger traffic. There is a concerted effort to attract more visitors into Rosslare Europort, with new sailings to France and Spain. If we want people to use rail when they get off at the port, we will have to ensure the facilities are there.

For the most part, it is all the same rolling stock. Generally, what happens is that when the stock is updated on other lines, Rosslare is the poor relation that gets the stock that has been left over. I am a great believer in the expression "build it and they will come". If we provide the rail services for the people of Wexford and Wicklow, they will use them. The railway staff along the line are excellent, but not enough services serve our county to ensure a significant transfer from the use of car to that of rail.

I hope the Minister of State will reflect positively on this and convey our views to the Minister for Transport.


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