Bus Éireann: Accessible bus stops the responsibility of local authorities

Bus Éireann: Accessible bus stops the responsibility of local authorities

Bus Éireann has said the provision of accessible bus stops on its network is "the responsibility of local authorities".

It comes after a wheelchair user from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, was refused entry on to her local Bus Éireann bus to Cork because she is disabled and there is no accessible bus stop in the town.

The woman, who does not want to be named, said she was forced to travel 40 minutes to Waterford for the next nearest wheelchair accessible bus stop.

In a statement, the bus company said it was "committed to the provision of a fully accessible public transport system and infrastructure".

They said disabled customers in Dungarvan on the Route 40, Waterford to Cork service are advised to access the service in Waterford or Cork.

Dungarvan was recently awarded a sustainable transport grant and Bus Éireann said they are liaising with the local authority to examine the possibility of the provision of accessible stops in the town.

Bus Éireann’s policy, since 2007, is that all new vehicles coming into the fleet will be fully wheelchair accessible and suitable for persons of reduced mobility.

All of Bus Éireann’s city services in Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Sligo are fully accessible and approximately 70% of their total fleet is accessible.

Their statement said: "Currently, the Sectoral Plan under the Disability Act 2005 envisages that the entire scheduled service coach fleet in Ireland will have been replaced by wheelchair accessible coaches by 2015. Bus Éireann is committed to playing its part in meeting this goal, but achieving it is subject to funding for new vehicles being available.

"Over the last few years, we have introduced a number of accessible inter-city and commuter services. However, the roll-out of such services is dependent on the provision of accessible bus stops, which is the responsibility of local authorities.

Currently, the following coach services are accessible for wheelchair users:

Waterford to Cork (station-to-station with accessible bus stops available in Castlemartyr and Waterford Institute of Technology)

Galway to Ballina (station-to-station)

Galway to Athlone (station-to-station)

Navan to DCU via Dublin Airport (accessible stops at Collins Avenue/DCU, Dublin Airport and Navan).

Bus Éireann’s said they plan to introduce accessible services on more inter-city and commuter routes this year.

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