Green Party TD, Deputy Steven Matthews was speaking following a receipt of a letter from Irish Rail that outlined that the toilets at the Bray DART station would not be reopening this summer, citing concerns elated to antisocial behaviour. Discussing the letter, Deputy Matthews said:
“My correspondence to Irish rail on this issue was prompted by several constituents writing to me asking whether the toilets in the station would reopen, now that capacity in public transport is back to 50% and we have seen an overall reduction in public health restrictions. I use this station on a daily basis and given how busy it is and the fact that it is staffed on a full-time basis, I couldn’t see a justification for not reopening the toilet facilities.
“I was extremely disappointed by the response I received from Irish Rail. I accept that antisocial behaviour is a concern but not to the extent that it means that no passengers can access facilities. I would have accepted this position in more rural areas that the station is partially staffed or rarely staffed but this is not the case in Bray.
“The response went on to recommend that passengers use other public toilets provided by the local authority which is entirely disengenuoius. Passengers who use this service, provided by Irish Rail, should be catered for by Irish rail in this regard. I outlined my disappointment in writing to Irish Rail and will continue to press them on this issue in the coming weeks. I accepted and understood the rationale for keeping them closed under Level 5 restrictions, but now that they have lifted and we are beginning to return to normal, the toilets should not remain closed.
“The focus this summer is on being outside and outdoor activities. We need to have a wider discussion about the provision of public toilets but at the very least, train passengers should be able to access this basic necessity before or after their journey. We should be encouraging people to get out travel within Wicklow to support our local economy, not putting barriers up to people using the service, concluded Deputy Matthews.