UCD students' union appeals to Dublin Bus drivers to stop at Belfield

UCD students' union appeals to Dublin Bus drivers to stop at Belfield

UCD students' union is appealing to Dublin Bus not to tarnish "with the one brush" all 28,500 students on the south county Dublin campus because of the anti-social behaviour of “a small minority.”

The appeal comes after Dublin Bus suspended some bus routes in the vicinity of UCD, due to anti-social behaviour issues.

The president of the students' union, Barry Murphy, told RTE radio’s Morning Ireland that buses are not stopping at the bus stop at the main entrance on the N11.

“That's the 145, the 39A and the 46A. We're seeing significant upset with students who are waiting, studying in the library at the night and they're coming out at 9pm, 10pm, 10.30pm to get a bus home only to have to wait for up to an hour and see several buses passing by and then they're left with no alternative but to get a taxi home and it's costing them upwards of €50 - money which students don't have.

“Pretty much after 10pm you're not getting any bus stopping and it's up on a flyover and you see some buses actually come up and drive past the students, but the majority of them just go past under the bridge, they don't come up on the flyover towards the stop at all.

“Stops down the road have been offered as a short term solution by Dublin Bus for the students concerned to walk to the next bus stop, but there are a number of students in wheelchairs who have been left waiting at the stop for up to an hour, it's just not an option for them to go to the next stop, especially if there's bad weather.

“Some students would feel vulnerable or isolated walking at night to the next bus stop, also if a solution is to be sought I don't think just moving to the next stop - if there are students causing anti-social behaviour they too could walk to the next stop.”

Mr Murphy pointed out that the university pays for security guards at the main gate to watch the bus stops every evening after 10pm.

“In the last six months, they haven't witnessed any anti-social behaviour. I know it's outside their control once the students get on the bus.

"But anywhere else in the city there is anti-social behaviour on buses, you could get on a bus on O'Connell Street and have the same things.

It's very unfair for Dublin Bus drivers to tarnish all 28,500 students in UCD with the one brush, the staff there and the local residents.

“We have local residents complaining about it too, they're getting on the bus in Dun Laoghaire trying to get back to Belfield and they're asking are you stopping there and at that point, even though it's 20 minutes to half an hour away, the bus driver says no.”

The students union has commenced a poster campaign at the bus stops encouraging students to be mindful of their behaviour on Dublin Bus, said Mr Murphy.

“But it's just simply affecting too many people due to the actions of a very small minority, we'd really like to encourage Dublin Bus drivers to stop, it's safe for them to do so.

“We accept that there might be a few isolated incidents of anti-social behaviour but that most definitely is not a reason for the bus drivers to completely stop.

They are driving by presuming there is going to be anti-social behaviour as opposed to giving students a chance, often times not even students, it could be a staff member or a local resident.”

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