Politicians and members of the public have united in their condemnation of yesterday’s decision by the National Transport Authority, (NTA), to delay the provision of the Navan – Dublin rai link by another decade.
Aontú leader Peadar Toibín blasted, “When it comes to the allocation of resources and infrastructure, we – the people of Meath – have learned never to get our hopes up. Today’s whitewash decision was the latest confirmation of that. How is it that the county with the largest number of commuters in the country does not have a proper rail line?”
More Meath workers leave Meath to go to work than actually work in the county. This happens in no other county in Ireland. Meath people commute further than commuters in any other county and Navan is the biggest town without a rail line. The Navan Rail Line is a pivotal piece of infrastructure needed to address regional inequality, climate change, and the years of neglect Meath has endured. To say that the Navan Rail Line may or may not be built in 10 years is an insult, and is deeply frustrating for the county of Meath.
“From Garda resources to the Navan Rail Line, to Navan Hospital, Meath consistently loses out when it comes to resources and supports – and must fight against the existing services being further cut. The government TDs and Ministers from Meath at the table need are not doing their job of making sure Meath gets her fair share when resources and supports are being allocated.”
Deputy Darren O’Rourke wrote online “the people of Meath have vision and ambition for our country, but it’s not shared by the government. They seem intent on abandoning rail in this [Transport] plan. Best case scenario, under Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and the Greens, it will be at least 10 years from now before a shovel is lifted on the Navan Rail. It will be years after that before a train rolls in… Very, very frustrating”.
Minister Thomas Byrne branded this as “very positive news for our county and reflects the Government’s commitment to this critical project for our communities in Meath”. This isn’t in seen as a positive statement by opposition parties and many of the Navan commuters.
A Navan resident told Meath Live, “I am currently a student now, but by the time this is actually built and set up and running, I will be in my 40s, god knows if I will still be living in Navan at that stage. It is very disappointing that they have only waited until now to start putting the Navan Rail Line in transport plans. The people of Meath have been calling out for this for ages, it should have been a priority of the government years ago”.
Another Navan resident, Kinga Piotrowska told Meath Live, “it is good that it is being built because finally there is a solid decision that we are getting the railway line. But this should have been done 10 years ago. It was going to be done in the Celtic Tiger era anyways so for it to kind of be done now is good news but it has been a long time coming and I think people are just frustrated at this stage with how long they have decided to start building it. We are still going to have to wait 10 plus years as it won’t be the first stage that it will be built, it will be the later one”.
“I think it’s quite embarrassing for the Minister for Transport, that he kind of only decided this now or that they made this go ahead now when it should have been such a long time ago because of the urgency of the climate emergency.
‘It should be in place now. I never got a train to college, people had to drive from my area and take the bus which was unreliable and I would have loved if this was done earlier and it should of, back when they decided it was feasible, so back then. I think it was a huge mess and I think yes, people are happy that it is happening but at the same time, we are really frustrated that it is going to take so long, when it should have been here right now” concluded, Piotrowska.