Waterford freight switch from road to rail ‘must be replicated’
“The announcement of the Rail freight service between the South East and the Western region, from Waterford Port to Ballina, is welcome and timely,” David Lane, incoming President of the Waterford Council of Trade Unions has said. He is calling for the switch from road to rail to be replicated elsewhere. “Set against the background of the latest report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, hopefully, it marks a realisation that sustainable transport for freight, and indeed passenger services, is essential in the fight to reach net carbon emissions by 2050,” Mr Lane added.
“The prospect of taking 5,000 truck journeys per year off the road can only benefit safety and air quality, reduce congestion and contribute significantly to a reduction in CO2 emissions.” Mr Lane said the reopening of the Waterford-Wexford-Rosslare line, now under consideration by the National Strategic Rail review, would open up the whole Southern and Western regions to passenger traffic from the South East. “Connecting the two major urban centres of Wexford and Waterford, could, with proper scheduling, realize commuter, student and tourist demand with onward connections to Tipperary, Limerick and Galway in the West.
Likewise, onward journeys could connect Killarney, Tralee and Cork, with its attendant benefits for health and emissions reduction.
“This year, 2021, is the EU Commission’s declared “Year of Rail”. This small but significant step, the Waterford Port-Ballina modal shift from road to rail freight, must be replicated nationally and can hasten a move to a more sustainable and climate friendly future,” according to the WCTU.
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