Irish Rail should immediately introduce commuter fares for people travelling between Galway city and its towns on the Galway-Dublin train line.
Athenry area county county councillor Shelly Heterich Quinn said that Irish Rail should immediately begin implementing the recommendations of the 2030 Rail Network Strategy Review including commuter fares for destinations on intercity lines.
“The report compiled in 2011 states that several lines, including the Dublin – Galway line, ‘represent areas with the highest job densities’ and we see it everyday at Athenry station how many people take the train to Galway,” Cllr Herterich Quinn stated.
In 2011, commuters were the largest group on the Dublin – Galway line out of Commuters, Business Travellers and people travelling for Leisure according to the report.
Councillor Herterich Quinn said that it “beggars belief” that people might have to wait until 2030 for the introduction of commuter fares to even be considered.
Improving rail services for commuters in this way could have a knock on effect for other areas of the economy councillor Herterich Quinn suggested.
The report states that “a faster, more efficient and more affordable rail service between cities would favour agglomeration thereby not limiting the establishment of Foreign Direct Investment to the larger cities like Dublin and Cork but enticing it to areas like Athenry and Oranmore,” the Fianna Fáil councillor said.
“The report suggests the ‘all things being equal’ the radial routes connecting the major cities should be the focus of future rail development.
“This would support my party colleague Cllr Alan Cheevers belief that a new commuter train between Athenry and Galway City with additional stops should be added, indeed without delay.
“The traffic congestion in Galway City is felt by the whole county and I will be urging my colleagues in Galway County and Galway City Councils to join me in calling on Irish Rail to secure commuter rates for our daily commuters,” Cllr Quinn concluded.
This month a motion was passed by the city council calling on it to work with the county in applying to Irish Rail for the creation of a commuter train line between Galway city and Athenry.
This would involve a passing loop on the track in Oranmore and platforms at Oranmore, Roscam, Ballyloughane, and Renmore to Galway City, and is being pushed as a way to cut car traffic.
photo credit: Brian Quinn