Battle of Broadstone
Published 11/01/2008 | 09:41
How reassuring it is to discover that two State transport bodies are competing like rival street gangs for the privilege of delivering a decent service to the people of Dublin and beyond.
So vigorous is the rivalry between Iarnrod Eireann and Luas that they have engaged in a bitter turf war with good, old-fashioned northside versus southside connotations.
Apparently Iarnrod Eireann has doggedly refused to allow officials of the Railway Procurement Agency, the people who run Luas, to carry out a survey at the old Broadstone railway station.
The RPA wants to run the Luas through the station. Hence the desired survey. Iarnrod Eireann wants the station to facilitate a suburban railway line. Hence the lockout.
It is not clear whether Iarnrod Eireann foot soldiers have had to physically repel RPA invaders from breaching the Broadstone defences, but Luas has been effectively ambushed on its slow journey northwards.
Under 'Transport 21', Luas is to service the new Institute of Technology campus and provide a link for people coming from outside Dublin to the new children's hospital.
Iarnrod Eireann see a new rail commuter rail line as the main priority and the Department of Transport has engaged consultants to evaluate the claim.
If zealous competition means that rival providers improve their overall service to the public, that is fine.
If it means that services suffer, then the providers should be taken aside and told to get their act together.