Rail promises from Minister Hazzard for Newry train services

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
Community, Politics
train stationInfrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has announced that more rail services to Newry will be introduced in 2017. The Minister was speaking on a visit to Newry Railway Station recently. Speaking from the Station, the Sinn Féin Infrastructure Minister explained that he believed that it was important for the state of the art rail station which had been delivered by his colleague Conor Murphy MLA in 2010 to be made further use of to attract greater numbers to use the train. “I noted the concerns expressed by a wide cross-section of the South Armagh/Down area that train services from Newry to Belfast are so limited currently that we are not exploiting the potential for growth in numbers using the train,” said the Sinn Féin representative. “I have tasked Translink with drawing up plans to see rail services increased daily to ensure Newry is better connected to Belfast and implementing this when the budget is finalised. I recognise that Translink provides a regular 238 Goldline service to and from Newry but I also recognise legitimate concerns about the frequency of the Newry to Belfast service,” he continued.
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Jan End 2017“Improving frequency will have important economic and tourism benefits for Newry and surrounding areas. I believe it is important that we continue to set ambitious targets to grow rail numbers. To do this we need to provide frequent and reliable services.” “Increasing use of public transport is a key objective in the Programme for Government. That means we provide quality and frequency of services particularly between our major cities. This step will support that process.”
Newry & Armagh MLA Conor Murphy said, “This development has to be welcomed by all. I share the dissatisfaction by many of the service available and whilst we understand that services are dependent on demand, this request by Minister Hazard for Translink to enhance the service is a very positive step indeed.” He added, “The citizens of Newry and south Armagh deserve a train service that is on par with other parts of the north and following on from the huge investment in the Newry Train Station it makes sense to utilise this state of the art passenger hub.”
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