Public transport – vision and reality

Sir, – I reference Jennifer O'Connell's article "Ryan's utopian vision carries assumption everyone lives just like him" (Opinion & Analysis, October 9th), in which she suggests that Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan should live in the country to realise not everywhere is accessible via public transport.

She references the Waterford region and tailbacks in Cahir. One solution being touted is the building of a dual carriageway linking the cities of Waterford and Limerick at a cost of up to €1.5 billion. The amazing thing here is that this corridor from Waterford through Clonmel, Cahir, Tipperary and onto Limerick actually has a rail line, be it a stealth line. The current timetable is hopeless in that there are only two trains each way daily, the first train arriving into each of the cities in mid morning, the second leaving Waterford before 5pm, long layovers in Limerick junction for connections, and the fact that there are no Sunday services, to name a few of the issues. I am hopeful that the National Transport Authority together with their partners in Irish Rail will strive to do so much more with this line. Morning trains arriving into each of the two cities before 9am, removing the stop in Limerick Junction to allow through services, and greatly reduced journey times and the provision of a proper Sunday service would do wonders to utilise a valuable State asset for minimum cost. Then at least this would make Mr Ryan’s suggested trip to this area by public transport a more enjoyable one, and more importantly open up this region to the potential of rail travel as a real alternative to the private car. – Yours, etc,


Drumlish, Co Longford.