Green Party Minister reduces Wicklow Rail Plans and is not funding the N/M11 Upgrade

The Wicklow Rail line to Kilcoole and Wicklow Town provides the worst service of any in the Greater Dublin Area. There are only 2 trains at rush hour, both short. The recent All Ireland Strategic Rail Review does not provide much improvement. It says the direct Commuter Services will be maintained and there will be an hourly shuttle from Wexford to Greystones. It says that passing loops were considered but rejected.

€30Bn spending is proposed but NONE in Wicklow.

The Minister of Transport Eamonn Ryan has also stopped work on the N/M11 upgrade in 2022 & 2023. This would have provided bus lanes and would be safer for all.

My belief, and that of Fine Gael, is that providing better public transport is the way to reduce car commuting. The Greens want to create traffic jams but not to make the rail line work for people. Many of the rail proposals are in low density places whereas North Wicklow’s population is growing rapidly.

My 2018 rail plan provided a 3km double tracking north of Greystones allowing 50% more trains. This was validated by a Jacobs Study and I thought included in the DART+ plan. Also it provided more direct trains to Kilcoole & Wicklow Town which probably needs passing loops. The Strategic Study seems to reject this as they are not mentioned.

Also The Bus Connects Plan was prepared 6 years ago but is not implemented.

I call for the Wicklow Rail improvements to be implemented, for €3m to be provided to move the N11 plan forward for the next 2 years and for Bus Connects implementation. This is the way to provide good public transport and reduce car commuting.

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