Wheelchair passenger left stranded
Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Peggy Nolan has expressed outrage at the repurcussions that staff shortages within Iarnród Éireann have had and will have on Longford’s train station in the coming weeks.
Speaking to the Leader this week, Cllr Nolan revealed that, due to staff shortages as a result of illness and other issues, Longford’s train station was left unmanned on Friday, October 29 last, with no access to indoor facilities for passengers.
Furthermore, she revealed, there are more closures to come with the company citing “operational issues” as the reason for the station being left unmanned.
Further closures will be in effect on the next two Mondays and Fridays of the month, namely November 8, 12, 15 and 19.
“They are closing the station on a number of evenings, which means passengers will have to go straight out onto the platform,” Cllr Nolan told the Longford Leader.
“Those trains are serving elderly passengers and the station closure means they don’t have access to the vending machines, to the toilets, or even to the ticket machines to purchase tickets.”
Cllr Nolan is calling on Iaranród Éireann to “rejig” its staff to ensure that there is someone in Longford so that vulnerable passengers are not left to stand outside on the platform as the colder weather arrives and the evenings start to get darker.
“Iarnród Éireann is a big enough company. They should be able to provide at least one staff member, even to commute from Leitrim or somewhere to ensure the running of that station,” she said.
“They’re now telling people to come and stand in the wind - in the inclement weather. But a lot of those people are vulnerable and need staff on the ground to assist.
“They cannot single Longford out and expect people who are vulnerable already to be left more vulnerable with no access to toilets or vending machines. It’s not good enough and it’s not acceptable.
“There’s also a network of busses that leave from there,” she added.
“Longford is the only station on the Sligo to Dublin line to be affected by this. I’m sick and tired of Longford being singled out. It is totally unacceptable,” she concluded.
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