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Rail bosses to consider city station closures

THREE rail stations in the Dublin commuter belt are facing potential closure or reduction in services as part of a full review by Irish Rail bosses.

Clondalkin, Adamstown and Kilcoole are among the 31 stations that cater for less than 100 passengers a day and transport bosses have warned that the future of these are under scrutiny.

The newly-built Clondalkin station has only 83 people using the station daily with an average of 37 people boarding trains at the station and an average of 46 using it as a destination.

Kilcoole has even less with an average of just 23 boarding and 34 arriving.

The sprawling neighbourhood of Adamstown has more, with 85 boarding and 107 arriving.

Disaster

Clondalkin Independent Cllr Francis Timmons told the Herald it would be "a disaster" if the company decided to even temporarily close the local station because of low passenger numbers.

"People were promised that link buses would be provided to bring commuters to Clondalkin and to the new station at Adamstown near Lucan but no bus has been provided," he said.

"Because of the location of the Clondalkin station, it is quite far for anyone to walk to it. A link bus would bring up a lot more passengers," he said.

A thorough review of rail services is underway which may result in some lines being closed or reduced.

"Plans for a Metro service coming to Clondalkin have been scrapped which means the existing station should be promoted.

"There are plans for up to 15,000 new homes to be built in the Clondalkin-Lucan area and these Dublin stations should have a secure future," he said.

The top 10 stations in Ireland account for half of all passenger traffic.

The quietest station in Ireland is in Attymon, Co. Galway, which has just two passengers a day using it to travel, according to figures.

A spokesman for Irish Rail said the company is facing a grave financial situation.

A Department of Transport document states that the Government needs to spend €60m more each year on railways just to maintain them properly.

Irish Rail, which is facing a series of one-day strikes as it seeks to impose wage cuts, has a worsening financial situation.

Passenger numbers are falling and there have been cuts in government subsidies. Income has fallen to €186m in 2012, down €35m on 2008.

While costs had been reduced by almost €67m between 2009 and 2012, government funding had dropped in the same period by €55.4m - 29pc.

Subvention

Despite this, Irish Rail ran more services last year than in 2012, reduced costs by €25m last year, cut staffing numbers by 261 and saw revenues increase by 4.4pc.

The company received more than half of the subvention paid by Government to the semi-state transport companies, but only carried 15pc of all passengers, he said.

Iarnrod Eireann received 56pc, or €117m, of the €209m Public Service Obligation (PSO) payment this year which is used to cover costs on non-profit-making services.

aokeeffe@herald.ie


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