Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
30. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the way a study on the merits of previously closed railway stations can be facilitated; if such a study can be commissioned into the Avoca and Glenealy stations in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61737/21]
As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding of public transport. The operation, maintenance and renewal of the rail network and stations on the network including the former stations referred to, is a matter for Iarnród Éireann in the first instance and in consultation with the National Transport Authority (NTA) in the context of the development of public transport in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA)
In this regard, the Deputy may be aware of the NTA's ongoing review of the statutory Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area. This Strategyalso includes Wicklow, and issues such as that referred to by the Deputy could usefully inform its review as it looks to develop a revised twenty year framework for transport infrastructure and services across the region.
A draft Strategyhas recently been published along with all of the background papers that informed its development. The publication of the documentation by the NTA coincided with the launch of a public consultation which is open until 17th December. I would encourage all interested parties to participate in that consultation.
Related but on an all-island level, the Deputy may also wish to note that a public consultation is also open relating to the All Island Strategic Rail Review.Consideration will be given to the potential afforded by disused and closed lines which could potentially include closed stations such as those mentioned. Again, I would encourage all interested parties to engage in this consultation.
Finally, I would also note the recently concluded consultation on the National Transport Authority's Connecting Ireland - Rural Mobility Planand the opportunity afforded by it to input proposals regarding improved rail and bus connections in rural Ireland. I would note the draft Plan as published for public consultation proposed a new bus route linking Sallins in Kildare with Arklow and serving both Avoca and Glenealy.