Ir­ish Rail pol­icy for dis­abled pas­sen­gers is ‘un­ac­cept­able’

Fingal Independent - - NEWS - By JOHN MAN­NING

DIS­ABLED pas­sen­gers at un­manned Fin­gal rail­way sta­tions are be­ing forced to give four hours no­tice of their ar­rival at the sta­tion to guar­an­tee they can get on their train. The ad­mis­sion was made by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Ir­ish Rail who ad­dressed a meet­ing of Fin­gal County Coun­cil re­cently and said the four-hour no­tice was an im­prove­ment on the 24-hours no­tice pre­vi­ously re­quired at these lo­cal sta­tions.

The Ir­ish Rail of­fi­cials said the com­pany had an Ac­ces­si­bil­ity Users’ Group where it worked with dis­abil­ity ad­vo­cacy or­gan­i­sa­tions who the com­pany claimed are ‘ happy’ with the ar­range­ment.

Cllr Tony Mur­phy (IA) was less happy with the pol­icy and while he ac­knowl­edged the four hour win­dow was an im­prove­ment on 24 hours, he told the Fin­gal In­de­pen­dent it was ‘un­ac­cept­able to ex­pect pas­sen­gers to know in ad­vance if the pub­lic lift in their train sta­tion is work­ing or not’. This would be the only way a dis­abled pas­sen­ger could board the train with­out as­sis­tance.

He said: ‘ There could be a sud­den me­chan­i­cal fail­ure or in­ci­dent of van­dal­ism. I feel that there is ab­so­lutely no rea­son why Ir­ish Rail could not have a con­tract with a lo­cal taxi firm in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate peo­ple with mo­bil­ity is­sues who may find them­selves stranded in train sta­tions be­cause of an un­ex­pected plat­form lift fail­ure.’

He said: ‘Ir­ish Rail need to make pro­vi­sions for all their cus­tomers who are en­ti­tled to travel on time to their cho­sen des­ti­na­tion.’

Crit­i­cism has been lev­elled at Ir­ish Rail’s dis­abil­ity pol­icy.

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