Greenways and rail corridors
Sir, – The proposed greenway from Galway to Enniskillen will please tourists, no doubt (“TDs at odds as west rail corridor to be reviewed”, Lorna Siggins, August 17th).
However, if you live outside Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, as do I, what you crave is some public transport. Our infrastructure here is woeful.
If I want to catch the train to Dublin I have to drive 44 miles to Dromod Station (and I do that regularly). Our bus service to Sligo is so threadbare. It is only possible to work in Sligo (if you are a Fermanagh resident) if you have a car.
What I need, what we all need, here in Fermanagh, is a train . . . to Belfast, to Dublin (that would be bliss), to Sligo and (this would be beyond brilliant) a train to Galway.
I wonder if politicians could stop telling us what they think we ought to have and could start listening? We know what we need in Fermanagh. Better public transport including a train service. – Yours, etc,
Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.
Sir, – So, the Government is carrying out yet another review of the so-called western rail corridor (Lorna Siggins, Home News, August 17th), a proposal to reopen a winding Victorian rail link that closed because nobody was using it, and shown by successive reviews not to have a business case for investment for passengers or freight.
Apart from the existing commuter traffic on both ends, the reopening of phase one between Ennis and Athenry has proved to be one of the biggest wastes of taxpayer funds in the history of the state.
The railway anoraks must be drooling in their notebooks and chewing their pencils with joy at this news. The review won’t get them a railway, but it will delay and effectively block the greenway that the population of the west is clamouring for on this closed rail line, a greenway that has long been opposed by Independent TD Seán Canney and a handful of other politicians associated with the rail lobby.
A recent petition in favour of a greenway attracted more than 20,000 signatures in the west, but within the Independent Alliance it appears that the views of a handful of railway nostalgists carry far more weight with the Minister for Transport.
The west will get another review, carefully timed to be delivered after the next election, and other regions will hoover up the available greenway funding. The west, as always, will get the crumbs, but what’s new? – Yours, etc,