Tuesday 23 January 2018

10 minute Darts will mean better service and more jobs, say Irish Rail


Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

Irish Rail has said a contentious new 10-minute DART service will mean more trains for customers and more jobs for drivers.

In a statement, it said it hoped unions would not interfere with the planned introduction of the more frequent service – up from a 15 minute gap between trains- from April 10.

Its statement was issued as it attended talks with the Nbru and Siptu, who are opposing the new service, at the Workplace Relations Commission.

The National Bus and Railworkers Union and Siptu have voted in favour of industrial action, up to a strike, if the company  implements the new 10-minute roster without agreement.

Irish Rail said Dart passengers made an extra 1.6m journeys, a rise of over 10pc, last year compared with two years previously, which showed the need for extra services.

“The expanded service, up from every 15 minutes currently, will mean more trains for customers, and more jobs for drivers,” said Irish Rail.

It said additional drivers have been trained so the improved service can be delivered “within existing rostering parameters”.

“As new drivers have been trained, the delivery of the enhanced schedule is not a productivity issue as claimed by driver unions Siptu and Nbru,” it said.

It said it hopes the unions will engage with the “normal process of timetable change” so “this much-needed enhanced service” can be delivered to customers.

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