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06 Dec 2021

Call to cut train and bus capacity from Laois and other counties during Covid-19 fourth wave

Train users complained about dumping at Portarlington site

Commuter train arrives at Portarlington Train Station on its way to Dublin

The country's biggest trade union wants the amount of passengers that can travel on buses and trains cut to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections.

While people have been advised to work from home, SIPTU says further measures are needed now on public transport to protect workers and passengers.

SIPTU representatives have written to the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, calling for for the measure to because of the increased risk of Covid-19 infection. 

SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Murphy, explained the demand further in a statement after Minister was written to on Wednesday, November 24.

“Ireland is experiencing a surge in Covid-19 infections and restrictions are being applied across various sectors of our economy. However, despite this, capacity on all modes of public transport remains at 100%, which sharpens the risk for both workers and passengers.

“SIPTU representatives fully accept that public transport must continue but passenger capacity must be reduced so our members can work, and passengers can travel, in the safest possible way. While we are aware that the Government is actively considering reducing public transport service levels at weekends we believe this would be a flawed policy as it will only cut the number of vehicles and potentially lead to further overcrowding.

“The reality is previous decisions on public transport service levels and vehicle capacity have been taken by the Department of Transport without any consultation with workers or their representatives. This is despite several attempts by SIPTU representatives to engage with the Minister for Transport concerning these issues over the last 20 months.

“We are now calling on the Minister to engage with us immediately on the introduction of a coherent and safe policy in relation to public transport services,” said the statment.

SIPTU says it organises more than 4,500 workers employed on all forms of public transport. 

 

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