Frew anxious for relay plans to remain on track

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Paul Frew DUP MLA for North Antrim has kept the pressure on the Minister for Regional Development, Danny Kennedy in order to give assurances that he will commence the work of the Track Relay project from Coleraine to Londonderry Railway Line in 2014.

Mr Frew was disappointed that the previous Minister deferred the start of the project until 2014 although there was funding of £20m allocated to allow the project to proceed at that time.

Mr Frew has emphasdzed to the Minister that he should be committed to upgrading not simply maintaining the Londonderry line and that the work must be commenced as soon as is practically possible.

Heasked the Minister for his assessments of the budget committments required to develop the rail link north of Ballymena to Londonderry; and what assurance he can give this work will begin in 2014.

Minister Danny Kennedy replied with the answer:

“The current estimated cost of the Coleraine to Londonderry track relay is £75 million.

“As part of the Budget 2010 process, it was decided by my predecessor to defer the start of the Coleraine to Londonderry track relay project until 2014 and funding of £20 million was allocated to allow the project to proceed at that time. The rest of the funding will have to be found in the next budget allocations and I will be seeking support to ensure that the nessesary funding is secured.

“I would like to emphasise that I am committed to upgrading, not simply maintaining, the Londonderry line as quickly as possible. I will continue to review options and discussions will continue about what is technically and financially feasible.”