‘It’s only a matter of time before there’ll be a fatality’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

ONGOING issues with anti-social behaviour targeting buses in west Tallaght and Neilstown mean “it’s only a matter of time before someone will get injured or there’ll be a fatality”, according to a union rep for Go Ahead bus drivers.

The instances, which include rock throwing, people hanging onto the back of buses while they are in motion and repeatedly pressing the emergency button for the doors of the bus to open – preventing drivers from leaving the bus stop – have been affecting drivers on Go Ahead’s 76 and 175 routes.

GoAhead 1

Fran McDonnell from SIPTU’s transport section, which represents Go Ahead drivers, said the instances have been increasing in recent weeks.

He is calling for Go Ahead to implement temporary curtailments when instances of anti-social behaviour occur in line with Dublin Bus’s policy for their drivers.

Mr McDonnell told The Echo: “There is anti-social behaviour in various locations around Dublin, but there is an element of anti-social behaviour in west Tallaght and Neilstown that can be problematic at times, and buses seem to be the biggest target for this.

“It has intensified in recent weeks. It came to my attention from my members last week that people have been throwing stones and interfering with the buses.

“It’s only a matter of time before someone will be injured or there’ll be a fatality.”

Mr McDonnell also said Go Ahead typically doesn’t implement temporary curtailments away from areas where repeated instances of anti-social behaviour have occurred.

According to Go Ahead’s Twitter feed, there were two curtailments so far this year due to anti-social behaviour – one in February when the 239 route was diverted away from the Fonthill Road for an hour, and another in January when the 175 didn’t operate from the Citywest terminus.

“Dublin Bus buses are diverted to an alternative route to avoid areas where anti-social behaviour has happened,” he said, “and we’ve asked Go Ahead to do the same, but they seem reluctant to do it.

“Having our members going through those areas, when the Dublin Bus routes that go through them have been diverted, is very dangerous.”

SIPTU contacted Go Ahead about these issues last week, and advised that if action isn’t taken then SIPTU’s members in Go Ahead will be instructed to withdraw bus services.

“Our members shouldn’t have to encounter these stresses in their daily work,” added Mr McDonnell, “and our members are not going to be a target.

“If this persists, we will have to take action to ensure our members’ safety. We don’t want to disrupt the travelling public, but when you have no other option, you’ll have to withdraw the buses.”

Go Ahead was contacted for comment, but a response was not received in time for print.

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