Alex Easton MLA has asked the question, of the Infrastructure Minister in a NI Assembly question if there are plans to restore the Donaghadee to Belfast train route.
Speaking today Alex Easton MLA said:
“It is beginning to dawn on me, the fact that we in Northern Ireland have been advised to cut its carbon emissions by at least 82% by 2050 to help the UK achieve its net zero ambition. It is the first time such a target for NI has been set by the government’s advisory body. The Committee on Climate Change said it had been able to advice on a target as NI was now committed to introducing binding climate legislation.”
“As this is the case, we know we need to move all our cars to electric cars over the next period of time this mean that cars will be probably more expensive, it also means that to meet this demand we need to look at other means at trying to encourage workers to use public transport to help cut those carbon emissions. So it means that maybe this is the time to relook at opening the Donaghadee to Belfast rail route again, to allow people who live on the peninsula and Donaghadee a chance to be able to get a direct rail journey into Belfast with a park and ride facility also.”
“I also believe this would create an opportunity to help increase tourism and allow Donaghadee to flourish. I have submitted an Assembly question expecting a no, but was surprised at the end of the answer that the Minister did say:”
“In line with that, my Department is currently developing proposals for a new Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan (RSTNTP) which will help inform priorities for future development of the main road and rail networks. I intend to publish my Draft RSTNTP for public consultation towards the end of this year, which will give the public an opportunity to respond and share their views on the proposals being brought forward. I would welcome your views on restoring the Donaghadee to Belfast rail scheme through the RSTNTP process.”
“So maybe there is a small opportunity for the Department to look at this in a positive light. I fully intend to express my views on such an idea through the RSTNTP process and will encourage others to do so also, maybe just maybe there is a change to restore the Donaghadee to Belfast line.”