Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
27. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the all-Ireland rail review consultation paper makes no reference to the Western Rail Corridor despite Dáil Éireann passing a motion in November 2021 supporting the extension of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62347/21]
As the Deputy is aware the Strategic Rail Review, which is being undertaken in co-operation with the Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland), will inform the development of the railway sector on the Island of Ireland over the coming decades. The Reviewwill consider the potential scope for improved rail services along the various existing, or future potential, corridors of the network. That scope will also include the potential afforded by disused and closed lines such as the Western Rail Corridor.
The consultation process included in the scope of this Reviewis open until 21st January 2022. The consultation paper comprises a number of questions and allows citizens and interested stakeholders to contribute views and ideas on the future of rail on the island. The purpose of the consultation process is to genuinely engage with people to seek their views rather than prejudge outcomes or direct people towards any particular perspective.
My intention is to consider all aspects of the Reviewupon receipt of the final report which is expected in Q4 next year. This will be one of the most significant reviews of the rail network on the island in many years and will provide a framework to develop a much-improved rail network in the years ahead.