Council name for tenders for feasibility research as Armagh rail hyperlink could possibly be on NI transport plan ‘this yr’ – Armagh I
The search is underway to discover a crew of execs to hold out the feasibility research which is able to hopefully lastly understand Armagh’s dream of changing into a metropolis accessible by rail.
And that might now occur as quickly as attainable.
Armagh I can completely reveal that Armagh Metropolis, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council have now tendered as a part of the method.
The native authority hopes to accumulate a profitable candidate to provide a “feasibility research for the reopening of the Portadown-Armagh Metropolis railway line”.
Within the meantime, the Minister of Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon, has simply reiterated her help for the mission.
The research is anticipated to take six months.
And if that’s the case, the minister mentioned it could possibly be “thought-about to incorporate in a Draft regional transport community strategic plan (RSTNTP) to be revealed for session in the direction of the tip of this yr ”.
Final month, representatives from ABC Council and the Division of Infrastructure had what has been described as a “optimistic” assembly on the rail hyperlink.
A scoping research has already been undertaken by the council, which had established a activity pressure as a part of the continued efforts to see the restoration of the railroad, which Armagh has sadly been disadvantaged of for the reason that final prepare withdrawn on October 1, 1957.
It thought-about how such a rail hyperlink may work and it was really useful to supply a devoted passenger service.
The price of the brand new feasibility research – one of many final cogs on this long-running marketing campaign – may attain £ 100,000.
However final December, Armagh I mentioned Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has expressed her resolve to fund such a feasibility research.
North Down Alliance MP Andrew Muir requested a query following the evaluate of the scoping research commissioned by the ABC Council.
He appeared for “a schedule for a feasibility research for the Portadown to Armagh rail mission ”.
The minister, in her response, mentioned her precedence was “to work on transport infrastructure that improves individuals’s lives, connects communities and tackles the local weather emergency by prioritizing energetic transport choices and sustainable ”.
And he or she added: “I feel rail has an enormous untapped potential to supply a number of advantages on our island.”
Minister Mallon has now reiterated her help.
Learn extra: The Final Practice Out of Armagh: A Bard’s Story About When Rail Was King Earlier than The Metropolis Gone Out!
Requested for an replace on the present state of affairs, she mentioned: “The Portadown to Armagh Railway Society has championed this observe extension for a few years and I wish to help their enthusiasm and efforts to enhance railway alternatives on the alongside the Armagh railway line.
“The Borough Council of Armagh Metropolis, Banbridge and Craigavon has undertaken a excessive stage scoping research which considers what could possibly be included in a future feasibility research.
“I hope that it will develop additional and that the feasibility research be undertaken.
“So I made a dedication to supply funding in partnership with Armagh Metropolis, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for the feasibility research.
“My officers met with council officers to have high-level discussions on the progress of the feasibility research, with council officers at present reviewing procurement choices.”
Now Armagh I can verify that the tender for the feasibility research has been opened.
And those that want to make a presentation have till 12 midday on Tuesday, March 30 to take action.
Past the feasibility research, the efficient reopening will after all depend upon the availability of funds, a public inquiry additionally being anticipated earlier than any hyperlink will be re-established.
However with the help of the minister, the ABC board and the general public, it not appears to be a query of whether or not, however quite when, town can as soon as once more boast of getting its personal rail connection.
Most learn at the moment