Alliance quizzes Government on railway funding

Increasing concern about delays in the funding of the Antrim – Whiteabbey railway line has led the Alliance Party to table two Parliamentary questions.

The questions, tabled by the Party Leader, Lord Alderdice, ask the government to confirm its commitment to the line and question whether EU funding may be lost because of delays in the scheme.

Local Alliance spokesman, Councillor David Ford, said: “I have been pressurising successive government ministers for six or seven years on this issue. It is clear that the massive investment in the cross harbour railway bridge in Belfast will only be fully justified if the trains from Ballymena, Coleraine and Derry use the Bleach Green Line.

“The line would also help solve the growing commuter congestion between Antrim, Ballyclare and Belfast and the development of local services, with a new station at Aldergrove, would be a massive boost to the Antrim, Crumlin and Lisburn area. It would also facilitate the scheme to provide many thousands of jobs at the airport.

“Alliance is concerned at the considerable delays in this scheme. Both Lord Alderdice and I have spoken to people with interests in the railway in recent weeks. That is why he has tabled the questions in parliament. It is important to find out whether the government is prepared to act while EU funds are available.”

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