THE appointment of EY DKM to review the Western Rail Corridor from Claremorris to Athenry, providing a link into Galway city, has been welcomed.
Speaking on the matter, Deputy Lisa Chambers said it is very welcome that consultants EY DKM have been appointed to carry out a financial and economic appraisal of the rail corridor from Claremorris to Athenry with a view to potentially opening up a commuter service that would link Mayo and Galway city via rail.
“This has been long campaigned for and I sincerely hope that this is the first step to delivering this project.
“We had to fight hard to get this review as Fine Gael have been very reluctant to engage and although this is only the first step, it is certainly a positive development that provides some hope.”
The review will open up to public consultation over the next few months, she explained, and she would engage with the consultants to make the case for Mayo.
She commented: “I am absolutely convinced that if a good commuter service is put in place from Claremorris to Galway city that the demand will be there and it will be used.
“Our challenge will be, in the absence of hard figures as the service doesn’t exist currently, to convince the consultants and ultimately the government and Department of Transport that this is a viable and worthwhile project.”
She added: “The potential for this service is huge. There would be a demand from commuters, people from Mayo working in Galway city, of which there are many. The traffic situation in Galway city has become unbearable and it is taking some people up to two hours to get to work in the morning.
“I have no doubt that if there was a train from Mayo right into Galway city in the morning people would leave the cars at home and do what is known as park and ride, park at the station in Claremorris and take the train into Galway city.
“You could have a connecting train from Westport, Castlebar and Ballina that brings passengers to Claremorris to connect with the Galway service.
“The other area of potential is around tourism and that would be two way traffic, tourists coming from Galway to visit Mayo and vice versa.”