(Updated) All CRD mayors call for immediate action to get trains rolling on the E & N line

Immediate action is needed to restore rail service on the E&N corridor between Langford and Victoria -- that's the message delivered to BC's Premier and Transportation Minister from all 13 mayors in the Capital Regional District.

The mayors have sent a letter to John Horgan and Claire Trevena telling them the impacts of inadequate transportation infrastructure are having dramatic and negative impacts on quality of life, regional economic performance -- and adding to greenhouse gas emissions.

View Royal Mayor David Screech says they want to see a commitment in the February 19th provincial budget:

" When you look at the huge transportation investments that are being been made on the Lower Mainland and you compare it over, just even say 5 years to the Greater Victoria area, the difference is just terrible. And it is just high time for the province to step up to the table and invest some money in southern Vancouver Island to help us with our transportation issues."

Last April the Island Corridor Foundation estimated about $25-million in repairs would be needed to bring the rail line back up to standard between Langford and Victoria.

The mayors also recommend a phased approach for the rest of the line on Vancouver Island, taking into account the wishes of First Nations along the corridor. And they urge completion of Bus Rapid Transit lanes to the Westshore, north and south, without delay.

Mayor Fred Haynes of the District of Saanich says Provincial leadership is called for on the issue. 

Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith of Sidney, Mayor Geoff Orr of North Saanich, and Mayor Ryan Windsor of Central Saanich point out the movement of people and goods from the Westshore to Victoria corridor during peak hours is significantly compromised leading to  long commutes, frustration and reduced quality of life. And some of those are heading to work on the Peninsula, making it a regional concern.

The mayors also note the Pat Bay Highway corridor to the BC Ferries' Swartz Bay terminal and Victoria International Airport will benefit from the proposed longer term Provincial South Island transportation strategy, saying safety improvements for level grade crossings are long overdue and enhanced public transit to the airport and the west Sidney industrial area are necessary to adequately service airline passengers and the commercial and industrial businesses there.


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