Northern Ireland news

Cross-border Enterprise service an 'infrequent snail' says Lord Adonis

Former British transport minister Lord Adonis has described the Enterprise service between Belfast and Dublin an "infrequent snail". Picture by Yui Mok/PA Wire
Marie Louise McConville

THE train service between Belfast and Dublin has been branded an "infrequent snail" by a former British transport minister who has called for it to be "sorted out".

Labour peer Lord Adonis criticised the Enterprise service after turning up at Connolly Station in Dublin to catch a train to Belfast.

"I turned up at Connolly Station in Dublin at 9.30am, expecting there to be a train every half hour to an hour. After all, these are the two great cities of Ireland," he told BBC Radio Ulster.

"In England, there is a train between London and Birmingham every 20 minutes. I simply couldn't believe it.

"It's 100 miles distance and the trains take two hours and 20 minutes and they get slower on the approach to Belfast from Newry."

He added: "Having a low fare and a terrible service is not a great equilibrium.

"You want a good service with good value fares.

"I was shocked at how bad the service was".

Translink said an "ambitious" new strategic development plan for the cross-border Enterprise service was launched by Translink and Iarnród Éireann in June.

"It envisages the introduction of new fleet to allow for an hourly frequency between the two cities and the ambition to reduce the average journey time to less than two hours within five years. The strategy is dependent on additional investment in infrastructure and line improvements," a spokeswoman said.

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