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West=On=Track - News

Re-opening of Western Rail Corridor Now a Step Closer

12th July 2003

PRESS RELEASE - West=On=Track Community Campaign

The re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor has come a step closer, following the announcement by the Government, of a new strategy for towns on radial routes in the West. A statement from West on Track, which is spearheading the community campaign for the rejuvenation of the railway, welcomed the important role being given to the Western Development Commission in coordinating an agreed strategy with regional and local authorities for the development of smaller towns, with particular reference to strategic linkages between towns, including the Western Rail Corridor.

Following a meeting with Minister Éamon Ó Cuív in Galway on Tuesday, a spokesman for West on Track, said that the Government initiative, officially announced by the Minister in Sligo Folk Park, was particularly significant for the rail campaign, because for the first time it indicated clearly that Government thinking now recognised the vital significance of the West's largest piece of unused infrastructure and its massive potential role in Western development.

"It is notable that the Western Rail Corridor is the only piece of infrastructure specifically mentioned in Minister Ó Cuív's statement and in the accompanying Strategy document. It also reiterates that the Minister for Transport, Mr. Séamus Brennan TD, has already announced that he is 'committed to supporting the development of a realistic and viable plan for the Western Rail Corridor.' "

The integrated approach to Western development for towns on radial routes, outlined by the Government and based on the National Development Plan and the National Spatial Strategy, is a logical and sensible development and one that we are confident will have the enthusiastic support of all local authorities in the region. We look forward to seeing the potential of the Western Rail Corridor and other rail and road corridors being given a central role in strategic planning in all of the relevant counties, leading to the creation of the optimum conditions for future prosperity and development in the entire region.

However the West on Track spokesman warned against complacency. "The West on Track campaign is continuing to grow and will be increasing in scale and in intensity over the next few weeks. This announcement, welcome though it be, serves merely to reinforce our determination to put the WRC at the top of the Western development agenda and to keep it there. Every citizen of the West has a role to play in that and we call on everyone to redouble their efforts by supporting our community campaign," he added.








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