People Before Profit Waterford welcome the move by the Waterford City and County Council Environmental SPC to request the Minister for Transport to include the Rosslare/Waterford line in the Strategic Rail Review. This is an essential part of infrastructure for the bigger plan to develop the Rosslare/Waterford /Limerick network.
PBP spokesperson and South East on Track supporter, Una Dunphy says, “This is welcome news and a step in the right direction. The opening of the Rosslare/Waterford line is the first step in re-establishing a major transport network for the SE region, connecting urban centres and rural villages along the way. It sets in motion the push needed to reinstate this link, when our carbon emissions are way above what other countries have due to our car dependence. Offering public transport is the way forward, and collaborative approaches should be established with the Councils involved to get this over the line.’
PBP have supported the campaign and commend South East on Track for their recent business plan. A number of other improvements could enhance this route to get it established in the short term. The line to Clonmel and Limerick has a totally unusable service on it. The route needs the current two trains per day service increased to an absolute minimum of four return services at suitable times, but preferably six return trains per day to give commuting options. Once a commuting and shoppers service is up and running, the re-opening of Fiddown or other local stations may be worth some consideration.
Una continues: ‘Plunkett Station is limited as a station due to the flooding and rock fall recently, making it a single platform only, this can be given greater flexibility by moving to the North Wharf station with two platforms, allowing for services to run east to Bellview in future. Rail freight, as we predicted prior to Brexit, has multiplied for Rosslare and Bellview, and offers a much more environmentally sound alternative to road haulage. This needs to be factored into any infrastructural planning from now on.’
All roads point to rail as our way forward. We continue to support campaigns improving public connectivity, reducing emissions and repopulating our rural towns and villages.