Exec urged to review rail delay

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The Stormont Executive has been urged to intervene and review a decision to delay the upgrade of the Derry to Coleraine railway line.

Chamber of Commerce President Padraig Canavan says he is “very disturbed” by Transport minister Danny Kennedy’s announcement that there is no money to fund the £75million upgrade that had been due to start next year.

Earlier this week Mr Kennedy said the upgrade was now being deferred to 2014. He said safety works would commence next year during which some passengers would be bussed between Derry and Coleraine. That means the city will not have a fully operational rail service during the 2013 City of Culture year.

Mr Canavan says the deferral goes against pledges from previous transport minister Conor Murphy.

“It was our understanding that there was agreement that the rail line between Derry and Coleraine would be upgraded in the current Budget period.

“On this basis, we call on our local ministers and political parties to refer this matter to the Executive for review. It is time for ministers to demonstrate collective responsibility for such decisions.”