Opening a railway hub near Rushmere would be a “huge opportunity” for Craigavon, it has been claimed.
MLA John O’Dowd has called for forward thinking so that the once proposed central railway hub near Rushmere brought to fruition.
The Sinn Féin representative has called for a multi-agency working group to be established to exploit the benefits of the railway line for the Craigavon, Lurgan and Portadown areas.
The calls come in the wake of a multimillion pound upgrade of the railway line, with a new station planned for Lurgan in the next number of years.
“The full potential economic benefits of the railway line and stations has not been fully exploited,” said Mr O’Dowd.
“Too many workers leave the area daily to travel to Belfast instead of the railway line being used to bring jobs and investment into the area.
“With a multi agency approach there is huge potential for investment in the area as a result of being on the railway line.
“With the price of office space rising in Belfast, Drogheda and Dublin, the logical decision for firms looking office space and other working space is to look at locations with lower overheads. The Craigavon, Lurgan and Portadown areas offer that alternative.
“There are pockets of land along and near the railway lines which need to be used for such purposes and a multi agency approach is best placed to identify and invest in the infrastructure needed to attract business into the area.
“The once proposed central railway hub near Rushmere must also be brought to fruition.
“For too long the railway line has been viewed as a nuisance causing traffic delays, which it does, but it is not going away and we now have a huge opportunity to turn the railway line into an economic driver which can create and sustain hundreds of jobs.”