Thursday, 19 January 2023
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
71. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will commit to engaging with Iarnród Éireann in respect of the urgent need to reopen the Dunleer train station in County Louth, which lies between the main Drogheda and Dundalk stations, in order to reduce the significant number of commuters using vehicles in the mid-Louth area for their daily commute and to provide much-needed choice to residents of the area at a time when the cost of living is greatly affecting commuters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1342/23]
As the Deputy may be aware, as Minister for Transport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding of public transport, including rail. However, the operation, maintenance and renewal of the rail network and stations on the network, including the former station at Dunleer, is a matter for Iarnród Éireann in the first instance.
I am not aware of any current plans to reopen the station at Dunleer. There are guidelines and requirements in place surrounding the release of funds for capital infrastructure projects which must be adhered to by all agencies wishing to draw down public funds. One requirement of the Public Spending Code is that major new capital projects are supported by a robust business case. I am not aware of any plans to progress a business case in relation to the reopening of Dunleer station at this time.
The Deputy may also wish to note the reopening of Dunleer station is not currently included in the Louth County Development plan. However, potential services and infrastructure along existing and potential new rail lines are being considered as part of the ongoing Strategic Rail Review.
The Reviewis now at an advanced stage, with publication of a report to follow once it receives appropriate Ministerial approval on both sides of the border.