Welcoming a recent review of the proposed Navan Rail Line, Cllr Ronan Moore stated:
“It is essential any future rail line is designated with ‘Commuter Status’ and this needs to be recognised during the feasibility study.
“In looking at the financial viability of the Navan Rail Line, my concern is that the consultants will look at similar rail projects in Ireland and see relatively low usage rates, which will count against us. For instance, in the south of Meath, the town of Enfield already has a rail line. However, though 37% of its workforce commute to Dublin under normal circumstances, only 5% of these do so by train. The question could be asked: would a similarly low percentage use the Navan Rail Line?
“However, this low usage rate is influenced by the exorbitant and off-putting cost of train fares that towns like Enfield, which do not have ‘Commuter Status’, must pay. I believe if you extend ‘Commuter Status’ to the likes of Enfield and introduce this to Navan Rail Line, you would immediately ensure a higher level of usage and guarantee its future financial viability.
“That is why I have asked that the consultants and NTA to look to continental examples where relatively low-cost commuting options ensure much higher usage rates. We need to have ambition and think long-term in enabling commuters and the community to access low-cost, low-carbon rail transport.”
Cllr Moore made his comments following a detailed presentation by the National Transport Authority (NTA) to members of Meath County Council.
February 5, 2021