herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Tourists hit hardest as dispute's first day brings misery

German Tourist Cillian Kean. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
German Tourist Cillian Kean. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

FROM tourists to business owners and festival-goers to workers, tens of thousands of people were hit by the first day of the Dublin Bus strike yesterday.

Bus users were forced to make alternative transport arrangements as the strike got under way at midnight.

Simon FitzGerald, who runs the Central School of English, had to take one of his students to the host family's home.

The student had been due to travel by bus before the strike action got under way.

"He just arrived in the afternoon and he couldn't get a bus, so I had to drop him off at the train station," Mr FitzGerald said. "I have around 20 students coming in the next week so if the strike continues it will become a problem," he added.

While passengers at stops served by real-time information signs were informed that services had been cancelled, others weren't so lucky.

German tourist Cillian Kean (17) had been waiting for a bus to Bray for 20 minutes before he found out that there was a strike.

"It's bad for me that I don't know this, when I'm sitting here and waiting for the bus and it's not coming.

"I'm trying to get to Bray, where I want to get a bus to Wexford," he said.

Megan Wosser (17) and her friend Megan Knight (17) were both in the city to attend the Olympia, where Britain's Got Talent winners The Silhouettes were performing.

The pair, from Blanchardstown, said that the bus strike meant that they had to walk 30 minutes in the rain to get a train.

However Ms Wosser said that she supported the bus drivers and believed they were being unfairly treated.

"We had to walk for around 30 minutes in the rain. We'd usually get the bus.

"I support the drivers and the strike though. If my pay was getting cut I'd do the same," she said.

Aoife McEvoy (21) (inset left) said that she had to take the train to work in Blackrock yesterday, which meant a further walk than usual.

"I'd usually get the bus, but I had to get the train today," she said.

"The cost is much the same, but the bus drops me closer to where I work.

"I don't have any other way to get to work, so I'll be using the train for the next few days if the strike goes on."

Outside the Ringsend Dublin Bus depot, around 30 workers stood on the picket line.

The workers told the Herald the strike will continue through the week.

hnews@herald.ie

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