Galway East’s Sinn Féín representative Louis O’Hara has expressed dismay at TII’s proposal for a greenway on sections of the Western Rail Corridor.
Along with his party colleague Chris MacManus MEP, O’Hara claimed that the proposal is ‘premature’ and at odds with the Development Plans of local councils.
O’Hara said that the most sensible solution is to construct a greenway alongside the rail line.
The greenway proposals are for sections of the Athenry to Milltown and Charlestown to Collooney sections of the Western Rail Corridor.
“The benefits of reopening the Western Rail Corridor, in terms of delivering economic development and reducing emissions by enabling more people to travel sustainably, are well known,” he said.
“Developing a greenway on the railway line would ensure that the line would never again be used for rail transport. Once you open a recreational amenity for the local community it is impossible to take it back for a variety of reasons.
“It would be a poor use of the infrastructure when the most sensible solution is to construct a greenway alongside the rail line or in an alternative location. Both options can and should be considered separately or in parallel.”
The Athenry native said that in other parts of Ireland – in particular the east coast – there is both top class transport infrastructure and recreational amenities like greenways.
“All of our local politicians should demand the same for our region and not just settle for the crumbs off the table from Dublin. We are not second class citizens in the west.”