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Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP Minister for Infrastructure Nichola Mallon MLA and Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD have agreed to progress the feasibility study for high speed rail, a commitment in New Decade, New Approach. In addition to the commitment in NDNA to conduct a feasibility study into high speed rail between Belfast – Dublin – Cork, both Ministers have agreed that the feasibility study will also include Derry and Limerick. Building on the commitment in New Decade, New Approach, the feasibility study into high speed rail will look at connectivity from Derry – Belfast – Dublin – Limerick – Cork.

SDLP Leader, Colum Eastwood MP commented:

“The SDLP joined the Executive so that we could deliver for people and communities that have been left behind for far too long. The best way to enhance opportunities for those communities is to enhance connectivity by investing in cleaner, greener infrastructure.

“I am delighted SDLP and Green Party Ministers have agreed to extend the commitment to high speed rail to include Derry and Limerick. We have an unmissable opportunity to address the systemic underinvestment in our communities while contributing to the fight against the climate crisis. Nichola Mallon and Eamon Ryan are continuing to demonstrate how we can use the powers of restored government to deliver for people across this island.”

Speaking after this afternoon’s North South Ministerial Transport Meeting, SDLP Deputy Leader Nichola Mallon MLA said:

“Improving connectivity across our island is key in delivering better opportunities for communities, greening our infrastructure and enhancing our island wide economy. I am delighted that Minister Ryan and I both share a passion for enhancing our island rail network and that we are committed to working together to achieve transformative projects that serve all of our communities.  

“The commitment in New Decade, New Approach to exploring high speed rail is vitally important and I’m pleased that in both parts of our island we are working together to make progress. Minister Ryan and I both recognise that the North West and Derry in particular has suffered decades of neglect and under investment and it cannot be left behind any longer. Therefore building on the feasibility study agreed in NDNA we have agreed that the study will also include Derry to ensure that opportunities that better connect our island, drive economic growth, investment and allow for greener, cleaner travel are inclusive and extended to the North West.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom