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DART commuters face ‘utter chaos’ says Harris

DART commuters in North Wicklow face chaos on a daily basis, Fine Gael’s Simon Harris has claimed.

Deputy Harris conducted a survey of North Wicklow commuters to understand how they have been affected by Irish Rail’s decision to reduce the number of carriages on trains during peak and off-peak times.

Harris said some of the responses were “startling”, with people describing late, cancelled and overcrowded trains, while others have been left stranded on platforms.

“One constituent, who travels to Pearse Station every day for work, sent me examples of their experience over a three-week period travelling on overcrowded, late and cancelled trains,” Harris said.

“This commuter was unable to board rush-hour trains from Pearse to Greystones on two successive days due to overcrowding on the four-carriage train, leaving a number of people stranded on the platform in Pearse.

“Other examples given range from cancelled trains with no prior notice or communication on the national airwaves; four-carriage trains leaving Greystones late during rush hour with standing room only; trains departing late because carriages needed to be de-coupled from four to two; and then the utter chaos that ensued when DART drivers went on strike last week and refused to drive trains with more than two carriages.

Harris has hit out at Irish Rail, a company he says the “taxpayer bailed out”, describing the manner in which the company is run as “completely unacceptable”.

“The management team of Irish Rail must be held accountable for the utter chaos that Greystones DART users have to endure. The DART runs on one line, north to south – surely not the most complicated public transportation service to operate.

“I have received hundreds of responses to this survey which will remain open until the end of the month, after which I will present the results to Minister Kelly and the CEO of Irish Rail.”

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