Irish Rail strike: everything you need to know

Dublin Bus advises to leave extra time for journeys due to added pressure on services

A monthly “short hop” ticket covering rail, Dart, Dublin Bus and Luas services will cost under €220 a month. Photograph: David Sleator Dart services are affected by the strike. Photograph: David Sleator

A monthly “short hop” ticket covering rail, Dart, Dublin Bus and Luas services will cost under €220 a month. Photograph: David Sleator Dart services are affected by the strike. Photograph: David Sleator

 

Commuters face widespread traffic delays on Wednesday morning as the Irish Rail strike takes place. AA Roadwatch said Wednesday was “a very busy” morning on Irish roads, as industrial action shut down services for 24 hours.

Early reports from AA Roadwatch indicate traffic is slow moving into Dublin, Cork and Galway city centres, with delays along numerous main routes for commuters heading into work by bus and car.

The Luas, whose website crashed on Wednesday morning, warned passengers all its ‘Park and Ride’ parking facilities were full by 8.30am.

The 24-hour strike will affect about 155,000 inter-city, commuter and Dart journeys. More strikes are due before Christmas.

What strikes are planned?

After today’s strike, another four 24-hour work stoppages and picketing have been announced by rail unions. These are scheduled for Tuesday, November 7th; Tuesday, November 14th; Thursday, November 23rd; and Friday, December 8th.

Ireland’s soccer World Cup qualifier play-off match against Denmark in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin takes place on one of the planned strike days, November 14th.

Will other transport providers be adding extra services?

Dublin Bus said its services would be operating as normal today. In a statement it said “our full fleet will be deployed during the morning and evening peak times but services are expected to be busier than normal”.

The statement advised passengers planning to travel with Dublin Bus to leave additional time for their journeys, due to the anticipated added pressure on services.

A spokeswoman for the Luas said it would be operating as normal, but “we advise the public to plan ahead for their commute and avoid peak travel times as we expect these to be the busiest”.

Bus Éireann said it would be attempting to meet additional demand on its services. A spokeswoman said “while there may be capacity on some routes to cater for extra demand, there will likely be limited availability on others, as all our fleet and drivers resources are currently deployed”.

She explained: “The November-December period is one of Bus Éireann’s busiest, with students, commuters and visitors all availing of services.”

She advised customers to book tickets online to help the company assess where the extra demand for services was arising.

Will other transport providers accept Irish Rail tickets during the strike?

Other public transport services will not be accepting Irish Rail tickets during the strike action. Dublin Bus, Luas and Bus Éireann confirmed it is not policy to accept tickets passengers have from a transport provider that is on strike.

If I have booked an Irish Rail ticket, will I be refunded?

Irish Rail confirmed any customer who has booked a train ticket for today will be able to get a full refund.

Customers who have booked tickets online to travel on a future day affected by strike action will have their bookings cancelled and fully refunded a week prior to the date of the journey. Irish Rail advised that customers should allow three to five days for the refunds to be processed. Passengers who bought tickets at a station can also apply for a refund at the station.

Customers who have a monthly or annual Irish Rail ticket can apply for a refund for any days the service is unavailable due to strike action. Customers will be able to apply for a refund for each of the days the service was affected at the end of the industrial dispute.

Why are Irish Rail employees going on strike?

Unions representing staff at the State-owned rail operator are seeking pay rises of about 3.75 per cent per annum – similar to the increases secured by Dublin Bus and Luas staff after strikes last year.

Irish Rail offered a 1.75 per cent pay increase for one year, to be facilitated by measures including performance management, absenteeism management, revisions to redeployment policy and payroll.

But talks between unions and Irish Rail at the Workplace Relations Commission failed to reach an agreement.