Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the news that there has been a vast increase in passenger numbers using the train service between Derry and Belfast.
In January 2017 the then Minister for Infrastructure Chris Hazzard announced that an hourly train service between Derry and Belfast was to be introduced.
Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said
“I welcome the news that since the new hourly train service was introduced in July of last year between Derry and Belfast passenger numbers have increased by 37 per cent.
Chris Hazzard when Minister for Infrastructure made great strides moving forward key infrastructural projects including the A5 and A6,and the multimillion investment in a North-West Integrated Transport Hub at the old Waterside Railway station.
The hourly service will continue to improve connection between both cities. It will make it easier for people carrying out business, attending hospitals, Universities and opening up the whole tourist product for the hinterlands of Derry and Donegal.
While our local economy remains under stress and most focus is on road infrastructure, it would be easy to fall into the trap of ignoring the essential contribution that a modern rail link can make to regeneration of Derry and the North West region.
Properly marketed, Rail can play a pivotal role, along with the exceptional scenery, in expanding our tourism offer and reducing congestion on the roads thereby assisting us to achieve our EU requirements on carbon emissions.