Newbridge Rail Group (NRG) which was formed after a public meeting last year in response to growing commuter frustration is holding a further public meeting in the Hotel Keadeen on the Tuesday 20 March 2007 at 8PM.
NRG has invited Irish Rail management back to Newbridge to address their customers. Last March Irish Rail made many promises to a packed room in the Keadeen. These promises were to provide and improve basic facilities for commuters and occasional users of Irish Rail services - many of these customers paying over €1600 a year for the privilege. One year on and many of these promises remain just that - promises!
NRG recognise that while some progress has been made on car parking, the opening of the waiting room and improved lighting, a lot more work remains to be done by Irish Rail.
Since the introduction of the new timetable, NRG has estimated that the average user loses approx. 1.5hours a week due to delays. The cost to the economy (and more importantly to families and the community) of this loss is huge - that 1.5hours a week is 72 hours a year, multiple that by some 1300 daily users and you have lost 3900 days!
Recently rail users from Newbridge gave Irish Rail a vote of no confidence when plans for increased parking were recently announced. Rather than being overjoyed that an end was in sight to the current disastrous parking arrangements in Newbridge, commuters learned that Irish Rail are planning to charge a daily fee of €2 initially to park in the station. If the average rail user travels 250 days a year this would add an additional €500 a year to the cost of travelling; an increase of 33% on an annual ticket of circa €1600. Commuters from Newbridge already pay the most per mile than any other commuter station in the country. Newbridge rail users mandated NRG to object to these plans.
NRG feel that many commuters will question the value for money of the service of Irish Rail - this fee would represent an increase of €500 per year for the average user or 33% additional cost. Many feel the time is right to question whether Irish Rail wants people from Newbridge using their service at all since they have reduced many intercity services from the town.
NRG were disappointed that the recent 3% fare increase was passed on in full to passengers from Newbridge in spite of the acknowledgment of Irish Rail that Newbridge is over priced.
NRG has invited the declared candidates in the forthcoming general election to attend and address the public on where their party stands on the issues raised. Three questions will be posed to the candidates on pay parking, ticket pricing and improving basic services.
The meeting is open to all on the 20 March at 8PM in the Keadeen Hotel.
For Further information please contact Garrett Cummins at 086 1517570, Sean Meenan 086 3808186 or Nigel Heather 087 6996593
Also available as in a printable format