29 Nov 2021

Couple left stranded at Laois train station when disability access was out of order

Laois Laois Laois Laois Irish Rail workers on the picket line in Portlaoise refuse picture, video and chance to share their message

A Laois husband and wife who needed disability access at Portlaoise train station were left stranded recently when the elevator was not working.

The local couple had travelled to a Dublin hospital for an appointment. They needed to use the disabled access facilities to leave the station but they were out of order according to Cllr Willie Aird.

He said the couple were left stranded and had to ring for help to get down the stairs.

Cllr Aird tabled a notice of motion at the Portlaoise Municipal District meeting in December calling on Iarnrod Eireann to ensure that disabled access facilities are available at Portlaoise station at all times.

“I was approached by a person recently who had used Iarnrod Eireann to go to Dublin for an appointment, husband and wife when they came back to Portlaoise the lift that brings you across so you can get out was broken and there was nobody there to help them.

“They had to wait and ring family members and friends to come and help them and they had to get down the steps.

“Please to Iarnrod Eireann, this should not happen in this day and age, we have and we are trying to prioritise safety measures for people with disabilities.

“This lift was put in there and if it is broken please ensure there is alternative arrangements made because as you all know there are people every single solid day using the train to go to Dublin for hospital appointments and it is difficult enough on people to go to Dublin for hospital appointments but if you are the person with disabilities coming back to the train station in Portlaoise and you are left there on the platform if you come in on the left-hand side from Dublin there is no way down until that lift is running,” he said.

A Laois County Council Road Department representative said it will issue a letter to Iarnrod Eireann about this.

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