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Overcrowding of Irish Rail commuter routes needs to be sorted

8 November 2018

Statement by Brendan Ryan TD
Party Whip, Spokesperson on Defence

Brendan Ryan, Labour Party TD for Dublin Fingal, has called on Minister Ross to review a plan that will alleviate the overcrowding of main commuter routes on the Irish Rail.

Proposing this in the Dáil, Ryan asked the Minister to approve the requests from Irish Rail for additional carriage stock such that capacity can not only be maintained but also increased on commuter lines.

Deputy Ryan said:

"The commuter rail routes into Dublin are absolutely bursting at the seams. Recent timetable changes have not fixed the problem on the northern commuter line. Whilst the number of trains has been increased, the trains themselves have had carriages reduced so the overall capacity problem has not been addressed. Overcrowding is not only leaving people stranded on the platforms, late for school or work or hospital appointments, but it also creating an unpleasant commuting experience for those crammed onto the carriages.”

“Irish Rail has requested capital investment in its carriage and train infrastructure. Adding extra carriages can be provided now, and it can help provide solutions to our overcrowding now. Irish Rail is seeking to lease 70 new carriages, which would provide five thousand five hundred extra journeys. Decisions need to be made now, Minister, otherwise you are storing up disaster only two years down the road.”

“Commuters cannot rely on services and are being forced to get earlier trains to get into work on time, which leads to overcrowding on trains during peak times. When commuters start to lose confidence in public transport then Minister we will have serious problems. In my constituency of Dublin Fingal necessary and welcome new housing estates are being built in Donabate, Lusk, Rush, Skerries and Balbriggan. People who buy these houses will be attracted by, among many other things, the fact they live on a commuter rail line. 

"At this particular moment in time, there is not enough capacity to cope with existing demand. Minister Ross needs to provide the funding for extra carriages and capacity measures to Irish Rail. Extra carriages must be leased and this needs to happen straight away to allow for the lead-time for delivery. This matter must be treated with the urgency that it deserves.”