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Tuesday 27 September 2016

Commuters told to expect the worst in bus strike misery

The planned Dublin bus strike looks almost certain to go ahead
The planned Dublin bus strike looks almost certain to go ahead

Commuters have been warned to make plans to travel early and car pool at the end of the week, as the planned Dublin Bus strikes look almost certain to go ahead.

Talks between unions and management at the semi-State body proved fruitless at the end of last week, with no further meetings planned ahead of the first two days of strikes on Thursday and Friday.

With unions and management both digging in their heels, the pay issue has reached an impasse and commuters have begun planning for travel chaos.

Conor Faughnan, from AA Roadwatch, said it estimated around 400,000 people a day would be hit by the stoppages.

"Even at this late stage, we are calling for a resolution to this. If it goes ahead, it's going to be a problem," he said.

"We are completely neutral in the dispute, but we don't think the ordinary commuter should be unfairly made collateral damage in this," he said.

"If it does go ahead what we would say is to make plans, car pool if possible and be prepared to leave early.

"We would also say to motorists to be aware that there will be more pedestrian and cyclist traffic and to be extra vigilant on the roads," he said.

Mr Faughnan said the strike would be a "seriously unfair inconvenience" on commuters in Dublin.

Irish Rail has said they will not be putting on any extra trains for the strike because they are already working to capacity.

A spokesperson confirmed Irish Rail would not be accepting tickets for Dublin Bus on the days of the work stoppages.

Meanwhile, Luas operator Transdev also said there were no more trams available to cope with the inevitable increase in demand.

Running

"We are running a normal service and all we'd ever say is allow time for travel," she said.

A spokesperson for Dublin Bus said there was no further update since the talks broke down.

Dermot O'Leary, general secretary of the National Bus and Railway workers Union (NBRU) said there has been no further contact since the meeting.

"Unfortunately yes," he said, when asked if the strikes were going ahead.

A request for comment on the looming strikes to Transport Minister Shane Ross went unreturned yesterday.

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