herald

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Warning over rush-hour DART crowding

PEAK-time DART users say they have been subjected to 'dangerously overcrowded' carriages, according to a survey by a Wicklow TD.

Irish Rail is under pressure to increase the number of carriages during rush hour after customers outlined their growing discomfort.

The study carried out by Simon Harris found that 88pc of north Wicklow commuters have found themselves on what they considered a dangerously overcrowded train.

Of the 400 respondents to his survey a massive 91pc said they had recently taken a DART that had six or fewer carriages during peak travel hours.

 

CONCERNING

"Respondents gave myriad examples of how overcrowded trains are resulting in people not being able to board a train, resulting in them having to wait another 30 minutes for the next Greystones-bound train, and of people having to disembark trains as they felt faint due to overcrowding," he said.

"What is most worrying about the responses submitted is that 88pc said they felt that the train they were on was dangerously overcrowded. The findings of this survey are deeply concerning when it comes to the reduced-capacity trains operating during peak times."

"We cannot continue with a situation where commuters are unable to board trains due to overcrowding or have people feeling faint on board. I am determined to hold Irish Rail to its commitment to not reduce capacity during peak hours and I will shortly be meeting with the CEO of Irish Rail to present these findings and to seek assurances from him that this will no longer be the case."

Comments that some of the survey participants recorded included claims that the Wicklow Dart was "a third world service for first world prices".

A spokesperson for Irish Rail said the DART is "designed to cater for full loading safely, and continues to do so".

cfeehan@herald.ie

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