Luas strikes: ‘This is not what Larkin had in mind’

Commuters forced to make new travel plans as service comes to standstill in pay dispute

Thousands of Dublin commuters have had to make alternative travel arrangements as Luas drivers began their second two-day strike in a dispute over pay and work conditions.Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

Many commuters in Dublin have been forced to make alternative travel arrangements this morning as Luas drivers began a two-day strike in a dispute over pay and work conditions.

Hundreds of would-be passengers chose to walk into the city centre. Transdev, the company that runs Luas, urged people against walking the track but with most buses full it tends to be the fastest option for many.

Eoin O’Neill, who passed through Ranelagh Station at about 7.20am on his way from Milltown, said he was “pretty put out” by the strike. “I’ll probably just hop on a bike at Charlemont now. I wouldn’t mind but the buses are just all full,” he said.

“They’re not stopping so I said I’d just take to the tracks as early as I can because there’s no point waiting around for a bus that isn’t going to to stop and obviously there’s no extra buses being put on. It’s just a bit of a pain in the ass.”

He said: “I wouldn’t really have much time for people who strike in general and people who kind of use unions in a way that they weren’t really set up for.

“When Larkin was doing the Lock-out he didn’t really have this in mind, holding the country to ransom over what I would consider extortionate claims.”

Another commuter who was walking outbound from Charlemont to Dundrum Business Park said it will take her 45 minutes to walk what is usually a 15-minute tram journey.

“I’m sure that the buses are going to be packed. I went to the bus stop and I saw how many people were waiting there and a bus just passed by but it was too full so I decided to not waste too much time there, I’m better off walking,” she said.

“It’s two days in a row for two weeks in a row in one of the coldest periods of the year so I don’t think many people are going to sympathise with the drivers.”

Line Thomsen said it will take her an hour to walk to work when it usually takes about 20 minutes on the Luas. “To be honest I don’t mind walking, it just takes me longer so I have to get up earlier in the morning,” she said.

“I don’t know too much about the strike but I can imagine the reason behind it so I have some sympathy for the drivers.”

Orla O’Dwyer was walking from Windy Arbour to Charlemont. “It takes 40 minutes. Door to door with the Luas takes probably 20 minutes,” she said.

“I’m put out a little bit but the walk in is actually not too bad once you can walk along the Luas track. Obviously it’s not ideal and if it was raining it would be a different story.”

Luas services stopped at midnight on Wednesday and will resume at 6.30am on Saturday, with further stoppages already planned for March 8th and St Patrick’s Day.