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'Wake-up' call for railway station

14th July 2017

Camilla McLoughlin

THE Green party spokesperson for agriculture and animal welfare, Pippa Hackett, from Geashill, has called on Irish Rail and Minister Shane Ross to ''wake up'' and come up with a ''quick solution'' to protect Tullamore Station which has served the area for over 160 years.

In recent years there have been numerous complaints from commuters in relation to the station with issues arising including the lack of staff at the station at various times during the day, a lift which is constantly breaking down and on one occasion early morning commuters being forced to climb over a locked gate in order to catch their train.

Ms Hackett stressed, ''Trains are a vital part of any low carbon modern society,'' and she wants to see services at the station not only maintained but upgraded.

''At a time when we should be improving our public transport, and making it more accessible for people, this is a catastrophic situation for Tullamore. With some trains less than an hour from Dublin, Tullamore train station is vital to the Midlands for business, tourism and recreation, and it is crucial that current services are not only maintained but improved. To have a station in this day an age without an operational lift is an outcry, and Irish Rail should be ashamed of themselves to allow this to happen.''

Only recently the President of the Chamber of Commerce Ann Starling, wrote to Chief Executive Officer, David Franks outlining the chamber's concern at the decline of services at the station. She stressed that many chamber members promote their business by citing the presence of a train station within walking distance of the town centre.

In response Mr Franks said he appreciated the importance of the rail service to Tullamore, adding ''...in conjunction with the National Transport Authority we are committed to the upgrade of our network and services to the benefit of existing and new customers in locations such as Tullamore.''

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