A Derry Assembly candidate says a report published by a Stormont committee this week backs up everything said by rail campaigners about the unacceptable handling of contracts relating to upgrade of the Coleraine-Derry line.
The report concerns the delays and doubling of the cost of the upgrade.
Eamon Mc Cann says Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen must explain what she proposes to do about the DRD committee’s findings, and is pledging if elected to vociforously highlight such instances of anti-Derry bias.
Mr Mc Cann, who will contest this year’s Assembly elections for People Before Profit say the people of Derry have a right to know why the north west seems always left behind when a mess is made of economic planning.
He says one reason for the latest fiasco is that the Belfast authorities totally underestimated the potential of the Derry line. The DRD was working a 2007 prediction that passenger numbers on the Derry line would rise by 25 percent, when the increase has been a staggering 238 percent.
The under-estimation of Derry, he says, was evident once again.
Mr Mc Cann claims Minister McIlveen’s Department has been running scared of this report since July 1st last year, when it was delivered to her office. It was only published this week because the committee lost patience and put it out without her say-so.
The report calls for an “urgent review” of the way projects such as this are managed. This, he says, should be set up immediately.