People with a vision impairment TO blitz Irish Rail with texts over Inadequate Audible announcements on trains.

On Monday 23rd July at 09:30  People with a vision impairment and their
supporters will send Hundreds of texts to the press officer of Irish Rail to
announce to Irish rail that they are not happy with the persistent poor
quality or lack of audible announcements on Irish trains

The texts will flood the inboxes of Barry Kenny (Manager of Corporate
Communications, Iarnród Éireann) and Jane Cregan (Corporate
Communications Executive, Iarnród Éireann) with a message loud
and clear  we will not stand for this situation.

Kerie Doyle, who is a totally blind  rail user, Said “People with a vision
impairment are forced to rely on other passengers to assist them when the
audio announcements fail.”

She  continued “I have had a recent incident where I was put in danger by
the inadvertent actions of  another passenger who informed me that I was at
Tara street  Station, when I was actually at Pearse Street Station.”  While
I have no doubt that the intentions of this passenger were good the lack of
audible announcements does leave People with a vision impairment,  such as
myself in the hands of people some of whom may not have such good
intentions.”

A full account of the incident is available at the bottom of this press
release.

Tim Culhane outlined  the difficulties caused to him as a person with a
vision impairment.
“When travelling by train you can never be sure that audible announcements
of the next station or the destination of the train will be available.  Even
when they are available they can be out of sync with the actual station you
are arriving at or the sound quality is so poor that they are impossible to
hear.  As a result, you have to keep track in your mind of where you are at
all times, assuming of course that you are familiar with the order of
stations.”

Martin O’Sullivan said “This is a very similar situation to what happened
in Dublin during the first half of 2005, when People with a vision
impairment   were forced to protest the switch off of the audible crossings
by Dublin city Council.  After a large protest took place outside Dublin
City hall during the election of the mare, Dublin City Council were forced
to turn back on the audible crossings.

Martin Continued People with a vision impairment do not wish to have to take
such an action against Irish Rail but as  this situation has  continued for
a number of years now we cant rule it out.

We are calling on members of the public to support us in this campaign and
send texts as well, we have 2 recommended texts which we would like people
to send.

We would like persons without  a vision impairment  including TDs and
senators  to send the following suggested text

“Hello my name is [enter your name here], I am supporting the campaign by
persons with vision impairment.  I am contacting you to highlight the lack
of audible announcements  on both dart and intercity rail services.  I would
also like to point out that audible announcements are of a grate value to
our tourist industry.  I would be most grateful if you could give me an
exact date and time when this problem will be resolved.  I would like to
hear from you as soon as possible.”

We would like persons with a vision impairment to send the following
suggested text

“Hello my name is [enter your name here], I am a person with a vision
impairment.  I am contacting you to highlight the lack of audible
announcements  on both dart and intercity rail services.  I would also like
to point out that audible announcements are of a grate value to our tourist
industry.  I would be most grateful if you could give me an exact date and
time when this problem will be resolved.  I would like to hear from you as
soon as possible.”

We have also set-up an event on face book which people can indicate  their
intention to send a text to Irish rail as well.

http://www.facebook.com/events/466433160041295/?context=create

For information / confirmation please contact

Kerie Doyle 0863515560 kerie.doyle1987@gmail.com
Tim Culhane 0872763702 tim.j.culhane@gmail.com
Martin O’Sullivan 0878289243 martin_osullivan@eircom.net

Incident report from Kerie Doyle
One afternoon, while travelling back from dun Laoghaire a few weeks ago I
was faced with a very dangerous situation indeed. As is often usual
on the dart, there was no audible announcements to indicate the stations on
the journey, and so I was forced to rely on the help of
another passenger. what happened as a result of this just could not have
been foreseen, and could have had very dangerous consequences
indeed! I was on the dart, and had asked a passenger sitting close by me to
inform me when we were at Tara street(as there were no audio
announcements). Now, after a while, the passenger did indeed inform me that
we were at Tara street, and was even kind enough to help me to
the door of the train.. I stepped off and was immediately met with an
unfamiliar noise, of what sounded like machines(construction
equipment) I thought to my self “I don’t remember this from before?” I
phoned a friend who was well used to getting around the station and
asked “how do I get out of hear”? I also described the construction which
they said they didn’t know anything about but how and ever…
armed with a description of the station, I proceeded to walk the way I
thought I should, when eventually I was met by a member of staff from
Irish rail . “Can I help you” they said? after which I said yes, and asked
to be helped to the main entrance of the station. I then, rang
the same person as before, this is where it really gets interesting and
highlights the need for the announcements! “I’m outside the
station” I said, and also said that I could hear lights to my left. the
person I was trying to meet couldn’t find me, and I must have
looked a bit stressed, because upon hanging up the phone, I was approached
by another member of staff. “can I help you? you seem to be
having some difficulty” I explained to the member of staff(who was perfectly
nice and very helpful) that I needed to be at the main
entrance of Tara street. “oh well, there’s the problem, your at Pearse
street station at the moment” I then had to go back into the station
and wait 10 minutes for a train to go only one stop, all because there was
no audible announcements! I also feel that my safety was put at
considerable risk due to there being no audible announcements which lead me
to get off the wrong station, where there was construction
which could have caused me considerable injury had I taken a wrong turn or
step, which bear in mind could have easily happened given the
fact that I am totally blind! I feel it would be in everyone’s best
interests and contribute greatly to the safety and peace of mind of
visually impaired passengers if Irish rail would just get this problem
sorted once and for all!

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