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Monday 5 December 2016

Ross urged to personally examine rural route facing axe

Published 19/11/2016 | 02:30

Transport Minister Shane Ross Photo: Tom Burke
Transport Minister Shane Ross Photo: Tom Burke

Transport Minister Shane Ross has been challenged to tour the Limerick-Ballybrophy rail line before any decision on a controversial route closure is taken.

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Tipperary politicians and the Nenagh Community Rail Partnership (NCRP) insisted the line, dubbed the 'ghost train' by some critics, can boost passenger numbers and achieve break-even status.

They now want Mr Ross to examine the line in person and hear detailed local submissions about enhanced timetables and investment.

The line appears destined to face the axe after a report revealed just 70 people used it on one day - and that its effective subsidy now amounts to €550 per passenger.

Daily revenue from the service is about €753.

The Limerick-Ballybrophy service has been closed all week with bus transfers in operation due to engineering works.

Councillor Joe Hannigan challenged Mr Ross to see for himself the difficulties the service is facing.

"If there was a better timetable with more user-friendly services, of course the number of people using the line would increase," he said.

Councillor David Doran said every local person he had spoken to backs the retention of the service.

Irish Independent

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