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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 6 December, 2019
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Broken lifts at Dart stations 'getting worse', warn disability activists

Several lifts were out of order at Dart stations this morning. Irish Rail said it was working to get them fixed.

Connolly Station in Dublin.
Connolly Station in Dublin.
Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

SEVERAL LIFTS WERE out of order at Dart stations today – a problem that disability activists say is becoming a “bigger” issue. 

Access for All Ireland, which campaigns for accessibility on rail services, said that it had recorded a total of 11 stations where lifts were out of order today – these included Portmarnock, Salthill and Monkstown, Grand Canal Dock and Shankill. 

The campaign group said that this was the biggest number of lift outages they had ever recorded. 

Bernard Mulvany, from the campaign group, said that problems were getting worse despite persistent assurances from Irish Rail. 

“It’s a horrendous issue,” he said. 

According to Mulvaney, who regularly monitors the number of lifts out of order, it can take anything from three to four days to several weeks for a lift to be repaired.  

Tweet by @Access For All Ireland Source: Access For All Ireland/Twitter

One major problem Mulvany has increasingly noticed is the delay in updating information on which lifts are and aren’t working.  

“My daughter is a wheelchair user, so through that, we used to arrive at stations and lifts wouldn’t be working,” he said. ”Lifts are out and the information is not available or they’re fixed and the information is not available”

A spokesperson for Irish Rail told TheJournal.ie, who said that they were aware of three lifts being out of order. 

A lift at Shankill, the spokesperson said, has been stuffed full of branches and debris by vandals and are in the process of being removed. 

The lift in Balbriggan will be working again at 12pm today, the spokesperson said, while lifts at Salthill and Laytown will be working again tomorrow and Friday respectively. 

The spokesperson said that the lift at Portmarnock should not be included in the list compiled by Access for Ireland “as these lifts have not been used for many years, as there is full ramped access to both platforms”.

They said that “lift faults predominantly arise from misuse, which in turn has impacted on ongoing reliability”. 

Irish Rail has promised to ensure that lifts are monitored by CCTV to discourage vandalism. 

“We update our app, website and station information screens as soon as lift information is reported to ensure customers can plan when issues arise,” the spokesperson said. 

Mulvany disputed the claim that Portmarnock should be excluded, saying that many other stations have both lifts and ramps. “People have contacted us who would like to use the station, but don’t feel safe on the ramps,” he said, adding that it was especially a problem in winter. 

The Irish Rail app also states that the lift at Portmarnock is “currently out of order”. 

The issue has been a persistent concern for disability activists, with many saying that the information and updates from Irish Rail could be improved. 

Mulvany said that more investment and upgrades are needed to ensure that lifts are working. 

“It’s going to be isolating whole swathes of our community,” he said. “It’s a basic right to be able to get on public transport.”

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