A MAN IN a wheelchair had to be lifted off the DART last night as there was no ramp available for him at Donaghmede train station.
The man was making his way home from the Ireland football game in the Aviva Stadium last night, however, he could not disembark from the train as the wheelchair access ramps had been locked away.
Passengers on the train at the time said the man was told that he could get off at the next stop and get a taxi, but he informed them that this wasn’t possible because his chair did not fit in taxis as it is a large electronic chair.
A video, uploaded on Facebook, shows the man being lifted from his chair by staff, with train passengers assisting in lifting the chair from the train.
An eyewitness on the train said:
It was disgraceful that he had to go through this. There was no ramps either side of the track and the driver himself had to go look for the ramp. The ramp was locked away so they were not able to have access to it.
Irish Rail told TheJournal.ie that they would like to apologise to the customer featured in the video clip for any distress that was caused to him.
In a statement they said that due to persistent vandalism of ramps at Howth Junction/Donaghmede Station the ramp is now kept within the booking office.
Yesterday evening the station was unmanned so the booking office was closed so the driver of the DART did not have access to the ramp.
Upon realisation of this the driver offered the customer two options; to continue to Bayside and we would organise a transfer by road back to Howth Junction/Donaghmede for the customer; or to continue to Bayside, where a staff member was on duty who would travel back with the customer and a ramp to Howth Junction/ Donaghmede and he would assist him getting off the DART.
“The customer was not happy with either of the proposed solutions and wished to get off the DART at Howth Junction/ Donaghmede. The driver assisted by other customers assisted the customer off the train,” said Irish Rail.
“This was not an ideal situation for our customer and we are very aware of this. As a result we are reviewing our policy of keeping ramps within the booking office in areas with high instances of anti social behaviour and associated security arrangements.”