Belfast Telegraph

Durkan welcomes hourly Derry to Belfast train but says more ambition needed

Service improvement 'only first step' in improving city travel

MLA Mark H Durkan has called for much greater investment in Derry's infrastructure following an improvement to its train link with Belfast.

The SLDP politician was speaking after visiting the Waterside Railway Station in the city, to mark the start of Translink's new hourly service to Belfast.

While welcoming the faster link, he said it was only a first step and more could be done for the service which would be fit for a modern city.

Mr Durkan said: “I was pleased to visit the railway station here in Derry today and congratulate staff on the new hourly service. It was fantastic to see the station buzzing with happy passengers, many of whom expressed their delight at the long needed more frequent service.

“While, I recognise the fact that this service will make travel more convenient for passengers, particularly commuters between the two cities. It is only the first step in the right direction."

Read more: Cyclist beats train from Derry to Belfast - that's embarrassing

As well as bigger, more ambitious plans for the city's travel plans, he called for a new "fit for purpose" train station.

“In order to deliver for Derry we need to execute a much more ambitious plan for our infrastructure and that includes our railway. The next step must be to bring forward plans for a new station, one that is fit for purpose and one that delivers faster, more attractive travel options for people in the North West.

“I congratulate all involved in delivering this new service and encourage them to keep going. We can work together to deliver a service fit for a modern city. The SDLP will continue to push the need for all political parties to prioritise investment for infrastructure in the North West. We now need others to show political will to get this over the line and off the shelf," Mr Durkan concluded.

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