Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford James Browne has warned the Government that any attempt to downgrade rail services in the county will be fiercely resisted.

Deputy Browne made the comments following the publication of a report which suggests that rail services south of Gorey could be withdrawn as early as 2018.

“The Government is currently considering the future of the rail network in Ireland and it seems they have earmarked Wexford as a county where they can cut services. Fine Gael should be warned that any attempt to withdraw rail services will be fiercely resisted by the people of Wexford,” said Deputy Browne.

“The recent publication of the rail review report suggests closing the rail line south of Gorey. This would leave the people of Enniscorthy, Wexford and Rosslare Strand without a rail service. It would also mean that trains would no longer serve Rosslare Europort which would put what is a vital piece of state infrastructure at risk of closure.

“It is deeply disappointing that the Government is considering closing rail services at a time when the need for public transport couldn’t be greater. The Government clearly lacks a coherent strategy for developing the rail network. We need a different vision for growing rail services, one which focuses on making rail travel more attractive and reliable so that passenger numbers can be increased.

“Minister Ross should be focusing on increasing the profitability of Irish Rail through passenger growth instead of closing rail lines. It makes no sense to close the rail line in Wexford considering the move towards promoting greater use of public transport.

“I have serious concerns about the future of Rosslare Europort should this proposal come to pass. It is already a vital piece of state infrastructure, and its importance will increase once Brexit formally begins. Many manufacturers are considering using Rosslare as an access point for shipping goods to Europe post-Brexit.

“It makes absolutely no sense for Irish Rail to close the rail link to Rosslare considering the fact that the port uses this rail link to ship freight, and the demand for this service is likely to increase in the years ahead,” concluded Deputy Browne.