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  • Southside

Pensioners too afraid to use Luas Red Line

Tuesday, 4th February, 2020 8:00am
Pensioners too afraid to use Luas Red Line

Concerns have been expressed over the Luas Red Line.

Pensioners too afraid to use Luas Red Line

Concerns have been expressed over the Luas Red Line.

FIANNA Fáil Senator Catherine Ardagh has said that incidents of anti-social behaviour on the Luas Red Line need to be urgently addressed.

The Senator was speaking after a woman’s hair was set on fire by a gang of teenagers during what were described as scenes of chaos on a Luas.

“Many residents in my own constituency of Dublin South-Central are telling me at the doors that they are too afraid to use the Luas Red Line at night because of anti-social behaviour and young thugs causing chaos,” she said.

 “Many older passengers are too afraid to use the Red Line after dark because of out of control teenagers. 

“Fianna Fáil has proposed the introduction of specific public transport police within An Garda Síochána to protect public transport users. It’s something we feel can really work and benefit the lives of those who use the service on a daily basis.”

Senator Ardagh added: “Passengers are being terrorised on public transport on a weekly basis and this behaviour needs to be stamped out.

“A lot of older people in the community rely on the Luas as a means of transport but it’s entirely unacceptable that they are too scared to use the service.”

Sinn Féin’s Seán Crowe also called for the setting up of a dedicated transport police service to specifically deal with crime on public transport after more complaints of racist and violent behaviour on the Luas.

“I have been contacted by a distressed constituent who witnessed vile racist abuse and violent behaviour on the Luas from the Point to Tallaght on a recent Saturday night,” he said.

“This is just one of a number of incidents that have happened on the Luas and other public transport in recent months. I attend the local Tallaght Bus and Luas Forum that is made up of politicians, gardaí, Dublin Bus unions and management, and representatives of Luas, and attacks like this are a sick and worrying development.

“Everybody should be able to travel on public transport in safety, without hassle or fear of racist thugs. Drivers should also be free to do a day’s work without intimidation or abuse.”

Cllr Crowe added: “There is a growing need to establish a dedicated transport police to tackle threats and intimidation. Luas security guards have little powers and cannot arrest individuals. 

“An Garda Síochána are currently involved in what is called Operation Safe Route, but they can’t be everywhere and they have other duties.

“In order to protect the health and safety of public transport staff and passenger, surely it is way past the time to examine the feasibility of introducing a dedicated transport police service. 

“I believe a dedicated transport police unit is needed to tackle anti-social behaviour on our public transport services.”

Fianna Fail’s Spokesperson on Dublin, John Lahart, said his party would introduce a specific public transport police within An Garda Síochána to protect public transport users if in power.

This new section would be tasked with a mandate to ensure a comfortable, safe and punctual experience for all public transport users.

Deputy Lahart said: “If in power Fianna Fáil will introduce a specific public transport police to protect public transport users. We have seen a steady rise in the number of reports of assaults and incidents of anti-social behaviour on public transport.

“Passengers are being terrorised on the way to and from work on a weekly basis and it is our hope that a dedicated public transport police would act as a deterrent for those carrying out these attacks and incidents.

“The prevalence and threat of violence is deterring users of public transport and is causing serious delays to public transport,” concluded Deputy Lahart.

A Luas spokesperson said: “We continuously review Luas security arrangements in light of recently publicised incidents of anti-social behaviour in communities and on the Luas line along the Grand Canal.

“These incidents are currently under investigation.”

The spokesperson added: “We will continue to support communities along Luas lines and work closely with local community gardaí, with whom we have an excellent working relationship, to prevent further incidents r and to apprehend those responsible.”

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