Irish Rail to fix fiver rejection by ticket machines

Travellers trying to pay for tickets with new note experience difficulties

File photo of Heuston Station, Dublin. Irish Rail users trying to pay for their tickets with the new €5 note continue to experience difficulties as ticket machines won’t accept them.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

File photo of Heuston Station, Dublin. Irish Rail users trying to pay for their tickets with the new €5 note continue to experience difficulties as ticket machines won’t accept them. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

 

Irish Rail began making changes to ticket machines today so that they can accept the new €5 notes.

Travellers trying to pay for their tickets with the new €5 note continue to experience difficulties as ticket machines won’t accept them.

A spokesman for Irish Rail said they would begin addressing the issue from today. “We have commenced the upgrade of the ticket machines from today to enable them to accept the new five euro notes. We are on target to complete the upgrade by the end of this coming Monday,” said the spokesman.

Rail Users Ireland, an association representing rail travellers claim that neither Luas operator Veolia nor Irish Rail have updated their ticket machines to be able to accept the €5 note which was introduced into circulation two weeks ago.

They said that not all counters were manned by staff to sell tickets, leading customers to rely on machines which do not accept the notes.

The new €5 notes are the same width as the previous ones, at 120 millimetres, but are slightly taller than the earlier generation: the new note is 71 millimetres tall, while the previous ones were only 62 millimetres in height.

The notes came into circulation two weeks ago, but both the new and old €5 notes will be considered legal tender for the foreseeable future.

Thomas Stamp of Rail Users Ireland said he is unsure ticket inspectors will show discretion if a passenger is unable to purchase a ticket.

“Through no fault of their own, a passenger is faced with a dilemma whether to board a train without a ticket and face a fine or hope that the ticket inspector will allow for this problem,” said Mr Stamp.

Mr Stamp added: “This issue isn’t something that came out of the blue, the central bank sent out test notes in February. The operators of ticket machines at Luas and Iarnród Éireann should have tested it out in order to avoid this foreseeable problem. If car parks and banks can adjust then there’s no excuse why the biggest transport providers in the country can’t.” A spokesperson for Luas was unavailable for comment.

Meanwhile, some bank users reported problems with the new notes while using lodgment machines .

A spokeswoman for Bank of Ireland said “We have 400 Lodge ATMs in place in our branches and with the exception of just 4 there is no issue whatsoever with the new €5notes. A software upgrade is currently underway and from tonight I am happy to say that all our lodge ATMs will be accepting the new note. In the branch where the four lodge ATMs cannot accept the new notes there are other machines available to customers that are happily processing the new notes so there has been no impact on customers.”

A spokeswoman for AIB said all of the banks’s lodgement machines have been adjusted to accept the new €5 notes and a spokeswoman for Ulster Bank said their customers have experienced no problems with the new notes.