Call for wheelchair-friendly bus service in Cork

Representatives of the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Bus Éireann are to be invited to meet Cork County Council to discuss ways that all bus services in the county can be made wheelchair-friendly.

There was unanimous support for the move after Cllr Danny Collins said the relevant groups needed to get together to ensure disabled people have the same access to public transport as the able-bodied.

The Bantry-based councillor said he had spoken to a number of wheelchair users around the county who, on many routes, have to give Bus Éireann 24 hours notice if they want to travel on a bus specially adapted for their needs.

However, he pointed out that in many cases the buses were not being made available, especially in the West Cork region.

Mr Collins said unions representing bus drivers had called for many more buses to be made wheelchair-friendly and for drivers to receive training to help wheelchair users.

I am calling on Cork County Council and Bus Éireann to work closer together to provide proper wheelchair-accessible bus stops throughout the county.

He said the council had to ensure that kerbs were raised at bus stops to make it easier for wheelchair users to access and exit buses.

He spoke of one young woman living in Dunmanway who could not access such services and she had told him wheelchair-user friends, also from that area, had to relocate to Cork for college or work as they could not commute from their homes.

Cllr Danny Collins
Cllr Danny Collins

Cllr Joe Carroll, meanwhile, said wheelchair-bound people were also discriminated against as a result of the lack of accessible buses.

“There was a wheelchair-friendly bus stop put in in Skibbereen near the church some years ago,” he said. 

“However, if you came back into town on the return journey in the evening you’d be dropped off somewhere else which doesn’t make sense. The whole thing has to be dealt with properly.”

Cllr Danielle Twomey said she’d spoken to a woman living in east Cork who could not access her college course due to the unavailability of an accessible bus.

Councillors Seamus McGrath and Kevin Murphy pointed out to Mr Collins that he also needed to invite the NTA to the talks as they basically control everything Bus Éireann did. 

Mr Murphy described Mr Collins’ motion as “a no brainer”, adding that all new buses brought into service should be wheelchair-friendly.

More on this topic

Disability service on financial life support

Access to justice for people with intellectual disabilities: Are our courts ready?

New initiative launched to help children with disabilities

90% of people with disabilities feel they do not have enough access to public transport - survey

More in this Section

Government rental scheme for low and middle income earners ‘not affordable’

Donohoe will have to 'form a judgement' on Brexit when presenting budget

People found guilty of perjury could face €100,000 fine under proposed laws

Taoiseach condemns treatment of ex-garda Majella Moynihan


Bake: Michelle Darmody's recipes for the perfect summer picnic

Why Doug and Monique Howlett are moving back home to New Zealand

Learner Dad: 'It’s not unusual for someone to go home in a different pants to the one they arrived in'

What’s the Occasion? What to wear on your next big day out

More From The Irish Examiner