Thursday, 5 February 2004

Ceisteanna (119, 120)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

119 Mr. B. Smith asked the Minister for Transport the position regarding the proposal to extend rail passenger services to Navan, County Meath; if further consideration will be given to the provision of such a service to Kingscourt, County Cavan as there is an existing rail line that was upgraded and used for freight purposes until a few years ago; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3550/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

120 Mr. B. Smith asked the Minister for Transport if the proposal to provide a rail service to Kingscourt, County Cavan will be given detailed consideration as this proposal was not considered by the strategic rail review consultants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3551/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 119 and 120 together.

The strategic rail review examined the feasibility of restoring rail services to Navan via two routes — a Clonsilla to Navan link and a Drogheda to Navan connection. While it concluded that there was no economic case for reopening either link, Irish Rail is examining the possibility of reopening part of the Clonsilla to Navan line to provide commuter services for the rapidly growing communities in west Dublin and Meath.

The provision of passenger services between Navan and Kingscourt was not examined by the review. It considered that there was no evident demand for such services. No direct proposals were submitted at the time the report was being prepared arising from the public consultation process. No local policy or integrated planning framework exists in support of the development of rail links to the Kingscourt area.

Irish Rail has informed me that the line from Drogheda to Navan and Kingscourt is in poor condition and no longer in regular use. It has no plans to reopen the line.