Part of the proceeds from the sell-off of the government's 25 per cent stake in Aer Lingus should be used to provide high-speed rail access between Dublin and Wexford.
Independent Cllr. Ger Carthy said the Taoiseach and Transport Minister had said the proceeds of the sale would be ring-fenced for improved connectivity within the country and 'it is vitally important that part of this money is used to improve connectivity between Wexford and Dublin'.
'It is vital that Wexford gets its share of this money because we have certainly suffered as a result of poor connectivity with the capital over the years. Easier access to Wexford could benefit industry, tourism and Wexford people generally who travel to Dublin on a regular basis,' he said.
'I know major road improvements are currently taking place on the N11 but much more needs to be done. The rail service to Wexford is a disgrace. There needs to be improved frequency on the line and track upgrades are vital to enable trains to travel faster,' Cllr. Carthy told this newspaper.
'If we had high speed trains with a reasonable frequency between Dublin and Wexford it would encourage development in Wexford because business people are attracted to good quality trains where they can spend their journey time productively.
'Faster trains would also be a major benefit to people who commute from North Wexford to work on a daily basis in Dublin,' he said. He added that there needed to be an additional morning train from Wexford to Dublin to give commuters better choice than is currently available. 'There are three trains from Dublin to Wexford town in the evening but just two morning trains to Dublin. That does not make sense to me.'
Investment would be required to improve slower sections of the rail line in parts of Co. Wexford and Wicklow and a way of enabling mainline trains to get past slow running DART services between Bray and Connolly would have to be identified if the service between Wexford and Dublin was to be improved.
Cllr. Carthy said investment in improved bus services to connect Rosslare ferries to all parts of the country should also be considered as part of the connectivity proposal.
'Irish Rail may argue that Wexford/Dublin is not a heavily used line, but that is a direct result of the failure of the company to upgrade services to Wexford. It's a case of Irish Rail getting what they wish for. They put on a poor service which is not suitable for most people and then they argue that passenger numbers on the line are low but that's because there is an inadequate service, not because people don't want to us the train,' he said.