Women are afraid to go upstairs or take window seats on buses if a “drunk randomer” is sitting next to them, a conference was told today.
Karan O’Loughlin, organizer of the iptu division, said more than half of the women and 35 percent of the men would not use public transport after dark.
She spoke on a motion supported by delegates calling for a new national traffic policing service.
“I learned that lesson a long time ago when I was a teenager and had a part-time job, taking two buses home at night,” she said.
“And you learn very quickly when you’re a young teenage girl to ride public transport at night if it’s a double decker, never go upstairs and even if it’s a double or single decker, on the outside of the seat to sit even if the seat is empty. As true as anything else, a drunk person or random person will sit next to you and lock you in and you won’t be able to get off at your stop.”
Ms O’Loughlin said the union had been persistently told no transport police service would be set up because the Garda Commissioner did not wish to set one up.
She said the problem had “become dormant” for a number of years and “raised its head” when there was an incident and then “set itself back on”.
Ms O’Loughlin said when a station was automated it automatically became less safe for women because there would be no staff there.
The motion was backed by a delegate who said he was a “bean counter” at the National Transport Authority.
It said that if the issue is not addressed, “it will lead to a large cohort of potential passengers choosing not to use public transport”.
Tommy Wynne from the transport sector said there is no uniform safety throughout the public transport network.
He said the UK model is a dedicated transport police service funded by the Treasury, a model that Ireland needs.
Delegate Barry Nevin said airport police had full powers of arrest and suggested that the union should explore the possibility of appointing such “authorised officers”.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/women-afraid-to-go-upstairs-on-buses-because-of-drunken-randomers-siptu-conference-told-41499537.html Women afraid to go upstairs on buses because of “drunk random people,” the Siptu conference said