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Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (156)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

156. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Transport if a commitment will be made to undertake a feasibility study to investigate the reopening of the Navan to Kingscourt rail line; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53478/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As previously advised to the Deputy, Iarnród Éireann (IÉ) has no current plans to reopen this line nor to undertake a feasibility study at this time. I am informed that a potential re-opening of the line does not feature in the relevant Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies.

As the Deputy may recall, the issue of a potential extension of the existing Dunboyne/M3 Parkway line to Navan was considered by the National Transport Authority (NTA) during its development of the statutory Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016 to 2035. This issue is being considered again as part of the statutory review of the current Strategy. I understand that the draft Strategy will be published imminently along with all of the background papers that informed its development. The publication of the documentation by the NTA will coincide with the launch of a public consultation process on the revised Strategy and I would encourage all interested parties to participate in that consultation process.

The Deputy may wish to note that the Strategic Rail Review, which as you know is being undertaken in co-operation with the Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland) and which will inform the development of the railway sector on the Island of Ireland over the coming decades, will among other matters, consider the potential scope for improved rail services along the various existing, or future potential, corridors of the network. That scope will also include the potential afforded by disused and closed lines such as the disused line from Navan to Kingscourt.

This will be one of the most significant reviews of the rail network on the island in many years and will provide a framework to develop a much-improved rail network in the years ahead. A consultation process is also included in the scope of this Review and I understand it is planned to be launched later this month. I would encourage all interested parties to also participate in the consultation, when the process is launched.

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