‘It’s ridiculous. There was no warning’. Commuters angry at lack of notice
Reaction: Dublin and rail passengers at stations and bus stops had no notice of action
A passenger information sign at Seapoint Dart station in south Dublin on Friday morning. The vast majority of Dart, Irish Rail and Dublin Bus services are not operating today. Photograph: Rachel Flaherty
The one early morning train that travelled before the strike. Photograph: Rachel Flaherty
Commuters in Dublin were left angry, frustrated and confused at hearing at short notice no Dart or Dublin bus services are running on Friday.
In particular, commuters were annoyed at having received no notice of the disruption with many commuters arriving at Dart stations and Dublin Bus stops this morning only to realise that no services were operating.
“Dart AND Dublin bus strikes. Jesus, how the hell are we supposed to get anywhere?” one man sighed near the Seapoint Dart station in south Dublin, as he stood trying to figure out what to do next. “What the hell are we supposed to do now?”
Maier Lucian said he was lucky to get on the one train that left before the strike kicked in this morning.
“But I’m worried about my girlfriend. She’s coming from Baldoyle in the northside. It would cost way too much to pay for a taxi from there,” he said.
“It’s ridiculous. There was no warning. It’s weird too. There’s nothing to say there’s any strike.”
Many people were in disbelief the Dart services would stop running with no notice and went to speak to Irish Rail staff.
The Irish Rail employee was repeatedly apologetic to commuters and explained he did not know when services would run again.
Teenagers trying to get to school gathered at the entrance of the station all on their phones. “Some of our parents are coming back to drive us in. They are not happy,” Annie (15) said.
Conor MacGillycuddy said he “stuck for words” to describe the situation commuters were left in. “I’m extremely irritated. This is so primitive. This is so disrespectful to people. It is the wrong way to generate support for their cause. It is so counterproductive,” he said.
Mr MacGillycuddy said he had no option but to drive into the city but traffic was visibly already “immensely slow”.
Arslaan Khan, who lives in Monkstown, said he was in a “conundrum” as he could not drive into work today.
“We’ve two young children and my wife needs the car so I can’t take it and leave them stranded,” he said.
“I’m not angry but I’m shocked. Look at people’s faces, they are all shocked.
“It would have been nice to have known beforehand so we could have planned.”
Mr Khan said he hoped to share a taxi with other stranded commuters.
“I’m not sure how long this is going to take but we’ve no choice but to keep trying,” he said.
In Dublin city, the taxi rank outside Connolly Station as thronged as commuters sought alternative ways to get to work. Outside the station doors a steward in a high visibility jacket was turning away would-be passengers. “There’re no trains running this morning,” he said over and over as commuters attempted to get into the station.
A sheet of paper taped to the glass doors read, “Due to unofficial strike action there will be no train service this morning from Connolly Station. “This is going to affect a lot of people,” one woman said to her friend as she walked away from the station.
“We’re stuck, we’re stuck at Connolly Station,” another woman said. “We’re all stuck here. There’s a taxi line but no taxis, the traffic is brutal. It’s probably going to cost me €30 to get in now, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
But a group of schoolboys could hardly contain their glee at the prospect of a few missed classes. “I’m going in late anway,” one of them said with a large grin on his face while another was on his phone, saying: “get out of school now, the busses aren’t running. Tell them you couldn’t get in.”