North Coast rail upgrade is welcomed

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East Londonderry DUP Assembly member George Robinson has welcomed the new NIR timetable which introduces the hourly service to Belfast.

“Over the last number of years I have been involved in many discussions with regard to the track relay, new Bellarena Halt and the introduction of an hourly service from Londonderry to Belfast,” he said.

“It is a source of pleasure to see all these projects delivered with the hourly service now introduced from 2nd July.

“I would urge everyone to use this new service, especially those with their Translink Smartpasses, to get out and about. Our rail services have developed tremendously over the past 10 years when we see the new trains and the track relays that have occurred we should use the facility.

“I congratulate Translink for having a progressive approach and wish them success for the future”.

The SDLP also welcomed the introduction of the new timetable.

Speaking after visiting the Waterside Railway Station in Londonderry on Monday, SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan said the new service is “most welcome” but expressed that there is still more to do to deliver a service “fit for a modern city.”

Mr Durkan said: “I was pleased to visit the Railway Station here in Derry today and congratulate staff on the new hourly service. It was fantastic to see the station buzzing with happy passengers, many of which expressed their delight at the long needed more frequent service.

“While, I recognise the fact that this service will make travel more convenient for passengers, particularly commuters between the two cities. It is only the first step in the right direction.

“In order to deliver for Derry we need to execute a much more ambitious plan for our infrastructure and that includes our railway. The next step must be to bring forward plans for a new station, one that is fit for purpose and one that delivers faster, more attractive travel options for people in the North West.

“I congratulate all involved in delivering this new service and encourage them to keep going.”

We can work together to deliver a service fit for a modern city. The SDLP will continue to push the need for all political parties to prioritise investment for infrastructure in the North West. We now need others to show political will to get this over the line and off the shelf.”