Cllr Denis Leahy at Tipp Town train station
Independent councillor Denis Leahy has called on Iarnrod Eireann to give the LWaterford Limerick railway line a chance before it considers closing it.
Cllr.Leahy called on Iarnrod Eireann to put on a practical timetible , offer a service that would actually enable people to get to work , meet hospital appointments and c conduct their business in towns between tipperarytown and Waterford.
“At the moment the timetable is absolutely no use to anbyody..It is not being used because the times are totally out of kilter with every day demands such as getting to work and meeting hospital appointments.At the moment it just does not work because the times do not suit the general public, it is as simple as that” insisted Cllr.Leahy.
Cllr.Leahy, a Tipperary town businessman, said the line should be “customer driven”.
He made his call following the release of a report which identified the line as one of four earmarked for closure in the country.
“At the moment this line is not run for the convenience of the customer.If somebody living in Tipperary Town needs to get to work in Cahir,Clonmel,Carrick or Waterford they cannot use the train because it leaves Tipperary town at 10am, how useless a service is that?” asked Cllr.Leahy.
Cllr.Leahy said the people of Tipperary deserved a much better service.
He pointed out that because of the high unemployment rate in Tipperary Town and the catchment area a lot of people had to commute to other towns.
“I would imagine if the timetable was more practical that a lot of people would actually use the service.At the moment they can't,they are forced to travel on very poor roads,” said Cllr.Leahy.
He said it would be much better if a train left Tipperary town at 7am rather than 10am as it would allow people to meet work schedules, hospital appointments and attend to other business.
Also at the moment the train from Waterford to Tipperray Town leaves at 4.25 which was again just not suitable as it would not give people a chance to use a train as they might not finish work until 5pm.
“Nobody finishes work before 4.25There is a very simple reason why people are not using the service at the moment.it is just not practical for them to do so” said Cllr.Leahy.
Apart from accommodating work cllr.Leahy said a significant number of people from Tipperary attend medical appointments in Waterford Regional Hospital and the train schedule did not suit them either.
“The train that leaves Tipperary at 10 am does not get into Waterford until 11.30am which is too late for people try ing to mak clinics and medical appointments” he said.
“As it stands this service just does not work for people .To give it a chance they should provide a more practical timetable.Closing the line is not the right answer” said Cllr.Leahy.
He believes that Iarnrod Eireann, along with providing a more practical timetable, should market the line , advertise it and make it easy for people to use it.
“Iarnrod Eireann has to market this, they would have to drive it on and make it work.This line should be a thriving one connecting Rosslare and Limerick and all the towns in between.They have to make it work for people not close it down” insisted Cllr.Leahy.