SDLP Transport Spokesperson John Dallat has appealed to members of the public to respond to a consultation exercise being carried out by Translink on the future of the Belfast-Dublin Enterprise Rail Service.
He said: “This consultation which is on Translink’s web page invites members of the public to respond to their proposals for a new timetable which in effect will add 15 minutes to the journey time for some trains and marginally less for others.
“Should the proposals, which Translink and Irish Rail intend to implement go ahead it means that journey times will be back to the steam era of 1947. We need short journey times to make rail travel competitive with roads or any serious claim that the Belfast-Dublin Enterprise is an express intercity service will end.
“The Enterprise has been starved of capital investment and that must change if we are serious about getting people out of cars and onto public transport. The Enterprise is essential to developing a genuine Belfast-Dublin business hub which increases economic activity, delivers jobs and attracts new inward investment. It is also vital in fulfilling our commitment to tackling climate change and improving road safety.
“I am appealing to all our citizens to respond to this consultation exercise or write directly to Translink and Iarnród Éireann. We must send a clear message that we will not tolerate the inevitable demise of the Enterprise service that would follow the downgrading of services.
“We need all the political parties and both governments focused on the need to improve rail transport as part of an overarching economic and environmental plan. Right now we need people power to dispel any notion that we will allow this wonderful service to die.”