Westport Labour Councillor Keith Martin has called on Irish Rail to explain why students and families pay more for tickets on the Westport to Dublin line compared to those on the Galway to Dublin line.
Ticket prices are identical on both lines for single, day return, five-day return and monthly return tickets but there is a large variation for student and family tickets. On the Westport to Dublin line the student return ticket, the family one-day ticket and the family monthly ticket are €4, €6 and €8 more expensive respectively, highlighted Cllr Martin.
He added: “Students and families from Westport and those travelling to Westport are paying more than those travelling to Galway. It is unfair that students travelling from Westport and the number of families visiting Westport on their holidays are paying more than those using the Galway line. Why are some fares equal and others not? I have to ask are Irish Rail cherry picking tickets, like those for students and families, and increasing those ticket prices to improve profits? I have written to Irish Rail's CEO to ask for an explanation. I have also raised the issue of catering and the provision of a dining car, with hot food service.
“I welcome the provision, in 2009, of two additional services to Dublin, one of which will be an early bird service which will allow travellers to be in Dublin by 9am and the introduction of reserved seating. But we have to demand that fares are fair, and ask why are Westport families and students and those travelling to Westport paying more than those on the Galway line?”