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Dublin: 16 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020
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Campaign group concerned over increasing number of broken lifts at train stations

Over eight stations, on average, had lifts out of action over the past two weeks, according to Access for All campaign group.

AN INCREASING NUMBER of lifts have been reported as out of order over the past number of weeks, by campaign group Access for All, who “fear that if this goes on any longer that there will be people stranded or stuck”.

The group which advocates for equal access to transport noticed an increasing number of lifts not working with an average of almost nine every day over the past week across Dart and Dublin commuter stations. 

  • (Read more here on how you can support a major Noteworthy project delving into the accessibility of public transport in Ireland for people with disabilities.)

This figure has increased week-on-week for the past four weeks with an average of just over four lifts out of service in mid-April. 

“Irish Rail are considered an essential service so surely they would be able to service lifts or get them serviced,” said Sean O’Kelly, campaigner for Access for All, who previously wrote about being stranded on the platform in Clontarf. 

He felt that Irish Rail are “not taking the opportunity to upgrade the lifts while very few people are using public transport”. 

We can’t understand why there are lifts out of order. There is a huge lack of services.

A spokesperson from Irish Rail said that “repair works continue to lifts right across our network. Every effort is being made to ensure that lifts are repaired as speedily as possible, but there are some delays to supply lines due to Covid 19.”

They continued: “We have a comprehensive maintenance schedule for our lifts, which is ongoing, but unfortunately they can from time to time go out of order. Anti-social behaviour is a major reason for lifts going out of order.”

Travel Alert A travel alert from the Irish Rail website Source: Irish Rail

The worst day, according to Access for All, was last Wednesday 6 May when 12 lifts were reported as out of service. O’Kelly said they obtain this information from the “Irish Rail website and platform screens” on a daily basis. 

Irish Rail did not agree with this figure stating there were seven lifts out of order that day. However, on checking the website following a query from Noteworthy, it noticed that Malahide and Donabate stations “do have alerts up to say that the lifts are out of order, this is an error, they have been removed”.

This is an error that O’Kelly has often encountered. “It’s misleading to those who need lifts,” he explained, as they may not travel or avoid that station.

“It’s not just people with disabilities. It’s those with buggies and older people. We just can’t rely on Irish Rail or the Dart. Without a working lift, our independence is taken away.”

LIFT OUT investigation  

Do you want to know more about the accessibility of public transport in Ireland for people with disabilities?

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The Noteworthy team want to do an in-depth investigation into this issue through freedom of information requests and by talking to those affected.

They also want to want to investigate what is being done by Irish Rail, Luas and other public transport bodies and whether these actions are adequate for passengers.

Here’s how to help support this proposal> 

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About the author:

Maria Delaney

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