Neeson welcomes inquiry into rail accidents

THE Alliance Party’s Assembly Team leader has welcomed the Government’s decision to launch an inquiry into recent railway accidents.

But Mr. Sean Neeson, who is a shadow Assembly member for East Antrim, said the announcement from Environment Minister Lord Dubs was “long overdue”.

Lord Dubs has appointed Mr. Christopher Hall, a principal inspector of railways, to review the conduct of the outcome of the NIR inquiries into the three recent railway accidents in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Neeson is hopeful that the inquiry will address what, he claims is, the current safety aspect of all trains belonging to NIR.

And the Carrickfergus Councillor, who was appointed as acting leader of the Alliance Party after last month’s Assembly election, has also confirmed that his request for a meeting with the Environment Minster still stands.

“I am pleased that Lord Dubs has taken steps with what is a very serious and very sensitive issue. The people of Northern Ireland must have confidence in their public transport service,” said Mr. Neeson.

“I have been very active in trying to bring this matter to the public notice and I will continue to monitor the situation.

“I have already requested a meeting with Lord Dubs and I will be seeking a meeting with the management of Translink. I would like to inform Translink and Lord Dubs about the serious level of under-funding of the rail network in Northern Ireland.

“It is clear that most of the trains – apart from enterprise express – are all obsolete and there is an urgent need to invest in new rolling stock.

“Furthermore, the rail track throughout much of Northern Ireland needs upgrading and the dithering of the Bleach Green loop must come to an end,” added the acting Alliance Party leader.

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