Westmeath commuters get no respite from overcrowded trains

Fianna Fáil TD for Longford-Westmeath, Robert Troy, has expressed his anger that commuters in Westmeath, who travel to Dublin on a daily basis on oversubscribed train carriages, will have to wait until the end of 2021 at the earliest before they see any additional capacity.

“The problem has become so bad that last month commuters were encouraged to stagger their train journeys due to overcrowded carriages. This infuriating initiative fails to recognise that the people commuting at those hours are doing so for work and it isn’t an option to simply take a train an hour or two later,” Deputy Troy commented.

Deputy Troy continues to implore upon the current Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, to extend the current rail fleet in order to meet the needs of the commuting public.

“I understand extending a rail fleet isn’t a process that happens overnight, that is why I have repeatedly called on the Minister to start this process over the last three years, unfortunately like so many other issues he failed to listen. Those using these services twice a day can speak to what a calamity it is and they cannot be left in this grave situation for another two or three years without a resolution. It’s not fair that thousands of passengers are paying steep yearly rates for a substandard rail service.

“I have long advocated for extra buses to compliment train services in Westmeath and for yearly ticket holders to be allowed to use their ticket on the bus. Rather than float ridiculous initiatives telling people to get a different train, the Minister could first address the deficits in existing services by supporting targeted investment and permitting upgrades that would provide greater frequency and efficiency”, Deputy Troy concluded.

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