Support for campaign to extend the Irish Rail Short Hop zone to Drogheda

The campaign to extend the Irish Rail Short Hop zone to Drogheda has received the backing of the Fine Gael parliamentary party.

At a meeting last week, the party unanimously agreed to back a motion supporting the extension of the Short Hop Zone.

The proposed extension would result in passengers from Gormanston, Laytown, Drogheda, Enfield, Newbridge and Wicklow all benefiting from substantial reductions in ticket prices.

The motion came following a lengthy 'Fairer Fares Campaign' from Cllr Sharon Tolan, which gained support across the party.

Cllr Tolan said: “The disparity of train fares has been a major issue for commuters from Meath, Louth, Kildare and Wicklow for many years now, and with increasing costs of living, coupled with the need to reduce our emissions, addressing this disparity now is a win win for everyone.

“The rail service is currently not fulfilling its full potential, due to the prohibitive fare structure, and many commuters are choosing to either drive to SHZ stations to avail of more affordable ticket pricing, or remain in their cars for their daily commute to Dublin. Minister Eamon Ryan now needs to make the sensible decision to extend the Short Hop Zone to the affected commuter belt areas. It will benefit all sectors – commuters, the environment and our rail network.

Minister Helen McEntee proposed the motion at the meeting saying: “22,000 cars travel through Julianstown everyday, coming from Louth, Meath and further afield. We need to take more cars off the roads to reduce our emissions and encouraging greater use of public transport is the perfect way to do so. It is unfair to ask commuters to pay significantly more for their train tickets while a few minutes down the line, there are significant reductions. I fully support my colleague Cllr Sharon Tolan’s campaign and hope it will be taken into account when the new transport strategy for the greater Dublin area is published.”