Earlier this month, the National Transport Authority confirmed to Fianna Fáil that no new rail carriages have been purchased since 2016 and it is yet to be determined how many carriages will need to be purchased over the next ten years.

The party’s Local Election candidate in Clontarf, Cllr Deirdre Heney has said the Minister for Transport’s failure to heed any of the concerns raised by North Dublin commuters means there is no end in sight to the chronic overcrowding they face each day.

Cllr Heney said, “With more and more people getting back into employment and others headed into education across the city and county, our DART services are more depended on than ever.

“It’s no new news that passenger numbers have been steadily increasing and that the existing fleet could not meet this pressure. Those using stations such as Killester and Clontarf experience chronic levels of overcrowding that often poses a threat to public health and safety.

“Extending a rail fleet isn’t a process that happens overnight – it involves the procurement of a contract that could take years. Those using these services twice a day can tell you that this grave situation needs to be immediately improved. It’s not fair that thousands of passengers are paying steep yearly rates for a substandard rail service.

Rather than float other expensive transport projects, the Minister could first address the deficits in existing services by supporting targeted investment and permitting upgrades that would provide greater frequency and efficiency. Let’s push to solve this, first.”