Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary is urging rail users to make submissions to the National Transport Authority’s consultation process on the future of rail services in Ireland.  Deputy Calleary says it’s particularly important that people using the Ballina and Westport rail services get their viewpoints across.

The Ballina based TD explained, “The rail service in Mayo is a vital piece of transport and economic infrastructure, with more than half a million people making journeys from Westport and Ballina to Dublin every year.  With 8 services a day, the route provides a comfortable and reliable rail link to Dublin, which is not only important for local people but is also significant in attracting tourists to the area.  The current rail routes make it easy for tourists flying into Dublin to make their way to Mayo. It is also essential for industry in the county – Ballina is one of the busiest freight depots in the country and we must preserve and grow that.

“The current road network between Mayo and Dublin makes the rail option more attractive for passengers and freight, and many people prefer taking the train as it eliminates time spent sitting in traffic and it brings them directly into the heart of the capital.  The future of rail services in rural areas must be protected and users of these services must ensure their voices are heard. This is an opportunity to propose additional services – including a Monday morning early bird service from Ballina, more user friendly fares and a more user friendly web booking system.

“I would also encourage Mayo people to show their support in this review for the extension of the Western Rail Corridor to Claremorris and onwards to Sligo.

“The deadline for submissions for the consultation process is next Wednesday, 18th January. I am encouraging all rail users, businesses and those involved in the tourism sector to outline the importance of this vital service to the county and ensure that the frequency of services do not come under threat”, concluded Deputy Calleary.