Tuesday 21 November 2017

Fight to save loss-making rural line

Nenagh councillor Virginia O’Dowd and Alan Kelly in 2012 when the new train service was introduced
Nenagh councillor Virginia O’Dowd and Alan Kelly in 2012 when the new train service was introduced
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Tipperary politicians and traders united to slate any proposed closure of the loss-making rail line between Limerick and Ballybrophy.

Former environment minister Alan Kelly, who helped introduce a new line timetable in 2012, described the potential route closure as "total madness".

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 amounts to €550 per travelling passenger. A study found that the Tipperary route generated a daily income of just €753.

But Mr Kelly rejected any notion of axing it, saying it was a much-needed service.

"Most public transport services are not profitable - the reason they are there in the first place is to facilitate the greater good and members of the public," he said.

That view was echoed across north Tipperary yesterday.

Nenagh Community Rail Partnership (NCRP) also stressed that any shutdown would be a serious blow.

"We will resist any attempt to close the line," NCRP official Duncan Martin warned.

Councillor Ger Darcy said he was not surprised by the issues that had been raised.

"The problem is the trains are operating at the wrong times and in the wrong directions for local users," he said.

Councillor Joe Hannigan said any closure of the line "would be a kick in the teeth to everyone who has worked to promote this area".

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News