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A Dart every 10 mins? Hold on just a second there, say drivers

The NBRU says the plan needs some major consultation first.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Updated 9.15 pm

TRAIN DRIVERS ARE questioning whether the plan to have Darts running every ten minutes is achievable, despite the minster yesterday already welcoming the idea.

Yesterday, Irish Rail outlined a number of proposed changes to their services nationwide.

One such change was a proposal to put more Darts on every day to ensure there’d be a service at least every 10 minutes on weekdays.

Dart services would also start earlier under the proposals which Irish Rail wants to introduce by “early 2016″.

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe TD made direct reference to Dart times, saying the plan would be “great news for customers as it should mean less congestion on carriages at peak times”.

But speaking today in response to the plans, the National Bus and Rail Union says that their members would have to decide if they could cope with the extra workload.

The union’s general secretary Dermot O’Leary says that drivers and Irish Rail have been told by the Labour Court to enter into negotiations about productivity.

Making Darts run every 10 minutes as opposed to 15 minutes would “clearly” be a productivity issue, he argued.

“Clearly from our point of view the proposed 10 minute Dart service is productivity based, it will be for our train driver members in the Dart to decide if they will be in a position to cooperate with any proposed changes,” O’Leary said this evening.

Irish Rail has disagreed with this assessment, however, saying that plans for a 10 minute Dart frequency are “completely separate from the productivity issues under review”.

“As our unions are fully aware, we have been training new drivers in anticipation of the need to grow our services,” the semi-state said in a statement. “This means we will be able to deliver the expanded Dart service needed by our customers within existing arrangements.”

The National Transport Authority is currently seeking feedback from all parties as well as members of the public on the new plans.

Read: Irish Rail are making some big changes to the Dart and want to hear from you >

Read: People had very mixed feelings about the rail strike being called off >

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Rónán Duffy

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