May 18, 2020
Clarity needed regarding physical distancing enforcement on public transport – Darren O’ Rourke TD

Sinn Féin TD Darren O’Rourke has called for clarity on how physical distancing measures will be enforced on public transport as passenger numbers increase in line with the phases of reopening.

Teachta O’Rourke made the call following comments from the CEO of the National Transport Authority this afternoon where she stated that it is largely the responsibility of passengers to police the measure themselves. 

The Meath East TD said;

“The idea that the policing of physical distancing on public transport would fobbed off onto passengers is very concerning. That this could be official NTA policy is even more alarming.

“I don’t think many users of public transport will be comfortable with the notion of having to police their fellow passengers and run the risk of confrontation, especially when they do not have a specific authority to do so.

“The Government and the NTA need to put more thought into how this will operate in practice. Physical distancing measures on public transport must be policed by those with an authority and the specific training to do so.

“I acknowledge that these are unprecedented challenges but we must get it right. Public transport is an absolutely essential facet of our society. It is crucial that it is safe to travel on public transport and to ensure our emergence from lockdown is protected and keeps moving forward.

“The progress we have achieved in the battle against Covid-19 over the past two months has been hard won. We should not risk squandering that progress because of a lack of policing of public health measures on public transport.”

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