Newbridge Labour campaigners to tackle train fares with NTA

Meeting

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Newbridge Labour campaigners to tackle train fares with NTA

Newbridge Labour representative, Patrician Calinan

The Newbridge branch of the Labour Party is taking up an offer from the National Transport Authority (NTA) to discuss the issue of rail fares.

Newbridge Labour has been running a 'Fair Fares' campaign in recent weeks and more than 1,600 signatures were collected online.

Local representative Patricia Callinan said: "In a letter to me, Anne Graham, Chief Executive of the NTA, has stated that she fully accepts that Newbridge is a commuter town within the greater Dublin area. However she says that this does not alter the basis for the Authority's decision."

In a submission the Labour Party had pointed out that the Irish Rail website states that the Leap Card can be used "on commuter services" suggesting that Newbridge was not considered to be a commuter station.

The submission went on to argue that the logic of the NTA's own Integrated Implementation Plan 2013-2018, based on the six distinct categories of Leap Card fares, should leave the cost of travel from Dublin to Newbridge at €4.69. The current single adult fare is €15.05.

It also claimed the exclusion of Newbridge from the Short Hop Zone, while it is included in the Rent Pressure Zone, represents an anomalous situation.

"This is a chaotic approach to planning where the prevalence of commuters in Newbridge is driving up rents, to the extent that the municipal district is in the Rent Pressure Zone, but those same commuters are being fleeced as a result of being excluded from the Short Hop Zone and being subjected to an inter-city pricing structure," said Ms Callinan.

"The flat rejection of our case by the NTA without addressing most of the points that we have made is simply unacceptable and it is insulting to residents of south Kildare. I would like to thank all those who signed our online petition on the Kildare South Labour Party Facebook page and to assure them that we intend to keep pressing the case until a fair outcome is achieved", she went on to say.

Newbridge Labour said it is bringing a high level delegation to the meeting, which it hopes will include Labour leader Brendan Howlin, Transport spokesperson Brendan Ryan as well as Cllr Mark Wall.