Thursday, 8 October 2020

Ceisteanna (87, 89)

Darren O'Rourke

Ceist:

87. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport if the initial studies as agreed in the NDP on the proposed railway line from Derry to Dublin have been commissioned; if he has spoken to the Department of Infrastructure in Northern Ireland in relation to any potential proposal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29301/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Darren O'Rourke

Ceist:

89. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport his views on whether an all-island approach to future rail provision is essential; if he has engaged with the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland to discuss this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29305/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 87 and 89 together.

While I am not aware of any specific commitment in the National Development Plan in relation to a proposed railway line from Derry to Dublin, I can confirm to the Deputy that I have engaged with my colleague Minister Nichola Mallon, MLA, on a number of occasions in relation to rail infrastructure.

Indeed at this week’s Transport Sectorial meeting of the North South Ministerial Council, I agreed with Minister Mallon to develop further draft terms of reference for a proposed study of rail speeds along the Belfast-Dublin-Limerick Junction-Cork line, which was a commitment in the National Development Plan .

Our intention is to ensure that the scope of the study takes sufficient cognisance of the need for balanced regional development, particularly in relation to connectivity with the North-West.

Our Departments will work together with other relevant stakeholders in finalising the terms of reference now and moving forward with the procurement of consultants.

I look forward to the commencement of this important study in due course.