Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Transport Sectoral Format

Part of Ministerial Statement – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 12:30 pm on 11th May 2009.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Conor Murphy Conor Murphy Sinn Féin 12:30 pm, 11th May 2009

There is an acceptance that there is a significant need for investment in the Enterprise service, but that comes up against the hard reality of the resources available to us. Therefore, the intention is to improve the service, and the objective remains the same. We asked the two companies, Iarnród Éireann and NIR, to carry out a piece of work to show how they would improve the service, including its frequency, comfort, reliability and speed. That involved not just work on the stock but on the track. It is intended to press ahead with that when the resources become available. In the interim, we will have to try to do what work we can to improve the reliability of the train sets.

It is still the intention, the desire and the objective to improve the service, as it is the key service on the island for connectivity between the two cities, and we want to ensure that it stays that way. The Member is right: the growth in the number of rail passengers is probably due to improvements in the comfort and reliability of the service, and investing in the service is the way in which we will continue to grow passenger numbers. There has been significant investment in new trains, and we would like to make the same investment in the Enterprise service. However, we may have to wait a little longer to get the resources for that. It is not simply a matter of capital investment; revenue investment is also required if the frequency of the service is to be increased.