Press release

Newest Green Senator welcomes cross-border rail funding

9th April 2024
Mal O'Hara

The newest member of the Seanad, Green Party Senator Mal O'Hara, welcomed the investment of €165 million in cross-border rail services between Belfast and Dublin. The PEACEPLUS programme involves moderning the service with brand new trains and improving journey times to under two hours.

Senator O'Hara welcomed the new funding;

"This is a hugely important announcement for our Shared Island. This investment will contribute to our net zero ambitions and shows the level of Green ambition to revitalise rail for this century.

"Intercity travel has for too long been dominated by a presumption of private car travel. The ambition to reduce journey times and enhance and electrify the fleet means that more and more people they will be able to choose rail as their method of travel between Belfast and Dublin. We have seen a Green Transport Minister in the Republic change departmental priorities of spend in favour of public transport and I hope to see similar bravery from a Northern Transport Minister so we can live the ambition of the All-Island Rail Review.

"Being able to get an affordable sustainable transport option to travel between cities is so important. It reduces stress and time lost in commute, means that you don’t have to pay for parking or worry about congestion. In 2022, Belfast was the 5th worst congested city in the UK which greater access to intercity travel can help reduce. Congestion means lost hours of productivity for business, it means commuters frustratingly stuck in soulless commutes everyday and it means that residents of Belfast and Dublin experience polluted air. This announcement sets out the ambition to make that step-change."

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