Minister pressed on Newry rail service

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Friday, November 20th, 2015
Community, Politics
SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley has called on new Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen to review recent reductions to rail services to Newry by Translink. bradley Newry Rail StationBradley was speaking during Regional Development Question Time in the Assembly at Stormont on Tuesday. Bradley said, “After the recent review of services by Translink they have reduced the non-enterprise services to and from Newry. As a result, there are only 12 trains leaving Newry for Belfast each day, compared with 46 from Portadown to Belfast and 38 from Lurgan. “There is a 30-minute service from Portadown to Belfast, yet the Newry service has intervals of up to one and half hours. This is imbalanced and unacceptable,” he insisted. “Many people from Newry and the wider South Armagh and South Down area travel to Belfast and Dublin for work and they need to be in either city in time for work in the mornings; at present that is hard to do given the current timetables. “We need to see more frequent services between Belfast and Newry and indeed better timetabling to ensure there are the appropriate services to get people to work in time. Bradley added, “I am pleased that the Minister has agreed to review the recent changes to timetabling, and whilst she did point to the pressures on budgets she did agree to review the situation with a view to increasing services from Newry to Belfast. “This is a welcome first step and I look forward to continuing engagement with the Minister and her officials in the months ahead.’’
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