Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, and Meath West Deputy, Damien English, have welcomed confirmation from the National Transport Authority (NTA) that work is progressing on the design and planning of the rail line extension from Pace to Navan. The NTA says the project has been postponed, not cancelled, and remains part of the overall draft Transport Strategy for the region.
Deputy Doherty said: ‘It was very disappointing for many residents of Co. Meath that the planned rail extension to Navan had to be delayed under the Government’s Capital Spending Plan, due to the severely reduced budgets each department must function under. However it is very encouraging to receive confirmation from the NTA that Irish Rail has been instructed to complete the design and planning work up to the preparation of a draft railway order’.
“This project has been suspended, it hasn’t been scrapped. This is a very important distinction. I am hopeful that as the economy recovers, and Exchequer funding improves, the Navan rail link can become a reality.”
Deputy English said: ‘I have been pursuing this project for a number of years now, and I am glad to receive reassurance from the NTA that it remains on the agenda. The Government had no choice but to scale back infrastructure projects over the next couple of years, due to the huge gap in spending that needs to be narrowed. But the Navan rail link remains a longer term objective’.
“The rail link will make a massive difference to the lives of thousands of people in Navan and its environs. The NTA is currently preparing guidance documents for Meath County Council to make sure the identified rail corridor remains free from development. This will ensure that the project will be able to progress without delay when funding becomes available.”