Antisocial activity at railway stations
REPRESENTATIVES of Irish Rail faced councillors this month as the rail company came to explain changes it is making at many of its stations which will see the continued roll out of self-service stations and a major change in roll for Irish Rail staff working at manned stations.
Fingal has already had some experience of self-service stations with mixed results and a number of councillors told the visiting Irish Rail representatives at this month’s meeting of the full council, that the absence of staff at these stations at certain times of the day is leading to an increase in antisocial behaviour.
Cllr Paul Mulville (NP) told the Irish Rail officials that Donabate Train Station which is now only staffed on a part-time basis ‘needs to be manned in the evening’ when he said, the station had become a ‘site of serious antisocial behaviour’ where he claimed there was regular ‘intimidation and harassment of commuters’.
‘We need a station master there on site in the evening and at weekend like there used to be,’ he said.
Cllr Kieran Dennison (FG) accused the company of passing responsibility for the problem to gardaí.
Cllr Ken Farrell (Lab) said the same problems exist at Rush and Lusk station where he said CCTV coverage needed to be extended and he claimed that antisocial behaviour at the station ‘ only became a problem since we became an unmanned station’.
Cllr Adrian Henchy (FF) said he felt ‘quite strongly’ about the move away from station masters who he said were more than station managers, but also advocates for their community giving out information to visitors to the area.
Where there remains staffed stations, those staff will move out of the ticket office and onto the platform to assist customers on their journey, according to the Irish Rail. These changes are down to a huge fall in the number of tickets sold at station ticket offices, with a move online and to ticket vending machines. Irish Rail spokesperson, Jane Cregan acknowledged the issues at some stations with antisocial behaviour and said that the company was working with local communities to address the issue. She said the company had ‘mobile security teams that rove between stations to try to move people along’. The rail company said it was also looking at improving its CCTV systems within stations.
Cllr Paul Mulville.
Cllr Adrian Henchy.