Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has clarified that greenway plans in Co. Galway will not interfere in the future with any plans for rail development.
Minister Ryan announced funding for the greenway between Tuam and Athenry last week, which Senator Sean Kyne said caused confusion over whether that would be a greenway on the railway line.
Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Kyne told Minister Ryan that some people in the west of Ireland seem to be of the view that we cannot have a rail line, a greenway and a motorway.
“Why should we not have all three in the west? I ask the Minister to confirm that the western rail corridor is to be protected for rail and that a greenway will be built alongside, in the vicinity or in a different area.”
Senator Kyne also acknowledged the work of the West on Track campaign group which for a year has fought the fight for the western rail corridor.
“It was a difficult fight to maintain the line when alternative uses were being suggested for it. Part of that campaign on social media was quite nasty,” he said.
The local senator asked Minister Ryan for confirmation because of confusion from parts of the media in Galway on the issue.
In response, the Minister said that greenway plans will not get in the way of any plans for a rail line in the future.
“To answer Senator Kyne’s concern about services from Tuam to Athenry, nothing we do is going to get in the way of holding the line for rail development,” the Minister for Transport said.
“Any other greenway development or ancillary works are not going to interfere with the potential for us to restore a railway service on that section between Claremorris and Athenry.”