Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has announced that more rail services to Newry will be introduced in 2017.
Chris Hazzard said:
“I have noted the concerns expressed by a wide cross-section of the South Armagh/Down area that train services from Newry to Belfast are so limited currently that we are not exploiting the potential for growth in numbers using the train. My colleague Conor Murphy delivered a state of the art rail station for the area and it is important that we make use of this facility to attract greater numbers to use the train.”
The Minister has tasked Translink with drawing up plans to see rail services increased daily to ensure Newry is better connected to Belfast and implementing this when the budget is finalised.
The Minister continued:
“I recognise that Translink provides a regular 238 Goldline service to and from Newry but I also recognise legitimate concerns about the frequency of the Newry to Belfast service. Improving frequency will have important economic and tourism benefits for Newry and surrounding areas. I believe it is important that we continue to set ambitious targets to grow rail numbers. To do this we need to provide frequent and reliable services.”
These measures will support the delivery of the draft Programme for Government.
Concluding, the Minister said:
“Increasing use of public transport is a key objective in the Programme for Government. That means we provide quality and frequency of services particularly between our major cities. This step will support that process.”
Notes to editors:
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