Local Fianna Fáil TD and Housing Spokesperson, Darragh O’Brien has said the congestion and capacity issues caused by changes introduced to Irish Rail and DART timetables are causing major difficulties for daily commuters in North County Dublin.
The Deputy raised the matter directly with the Taoiseach in Dáil Éireann yesterday where he said, “The recent changes made to the Irish Rail timetable including DART services have become a major difficulty for those who rely on these services daily. Earlier this month, I met with Barry Kenny of Irish Rail to highlight the adverse impact that this new timetable is having on commuters in North County Dublin.
“The demand for services on the Northern Line is so rapidly increasing that it’s creaking at the seams and it’s clear from the Taoiseach’s response yesterday that he’s oblivious to the growing population of Dublin Fingal and certainly not interested in these concerns.
“In order to reduce the dangerous overcrowding being endured by passengers I have been advocating for improvements. Irish Rail, at my insistence, has agreed to restore two morning commuter services at 07.29 and 07.42 at Portmarnock.
“I have been assured that off-peak commuter services will be half-hourly from December while some trains have been restored to eight carriages. Cllr Adrian Henchy, Cllr Eoghan O’Brien and I are working to ensure all peak time services at will operate with eight carriages on journeys.
“This would include buying, leasing and refurbishing carriages, but they would not expect any new additions before 2020.
“Stopgap measures including improving signalling infrastructure at Connolly Station will help alleviate some of the worst consequences of this new timetable. But the reality is that our rail services in the North County have suffered from chronic under-investment over the past 7 years.
“This timetable has been presented as a technical fix for a congestion problem, but it has in fact resulted in a cut to services for North Dublin rail users.
“Regular, reliable, efficient public transport services are essential in our county. I will be continuing to push for improvements and for any adverse changes to be rectified,” he concluded.