The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport’s (DTTAS) Sectoral Plan, under the Disability Act 2005, is called “Transport Access for All - Easy Read Version, Full Version”. This concept is based on the principle of universal access to public transport which does not distinguish between people with disabilities and other passengers.
At the whole of Government level,
- the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS) 2017 to 2021, is aimed at improving the lives of people with disabilities. Implementation of the NDIS is being overseen by the NDIS Steering Group on which the DTTAS is represented. At the NDIS Steering Group meeting in April, the focus was on accessible public transport, and the NTA and DTTAS gave presentations: (NTA presentation and DTTAS presentation).
- the Comprehensive Employment Strategy (CES) for People with Disabilities sets out a 10 year approach to ensuring that people with disabilities, who are able to, and want to work are supported and enabled to do so. Both the DTTAS and the National Transport Authority (NTA) are represented on the CES Implementation Group.
Between these 2 Strategies, there are 19 actions for which the DTTAS, its Agencies, other State Agencies and public transport operators have lead responsibility for implementing. These Actions are primarily public transport related.
Accessible Public Transport
Accessibility features, such as wheelchair access and audio and visual aids, are built into all new public transport infrastructure projects and vehicles from the design stage. Newer systems such as LUAS are fully accessible.
There are legacy issues in relation to older infrastructure and facilities, for example Victorian era railway infrastructure.
The DTTAS funds an ongoing programme of accessibility improvement grants to upgrade existing older infrastructure and facilities, which is managed by the NTA. This funds programmes to: install accessible bus stops, upgrade train stations to make them wheelchair accessible, and provide grant support for the introduction of more wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) into the taxi fleet.
Budget 2018 included a multi-annual allocation of almost €28m for the public transport accessibility retro-fit programme for the period 2018-2021. The National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2027 includes a number of new major public transport projects which will be fully accessible as part of the normal design. There will also be continued funding under the NDP for the retro-fitting of older existing public transport facilities.
The NTA provided the following information notes on public transport accessibility:
- Information Note on Accessibility Programme 2018-2021
- Information Note on making Public Transport Accessible
- Status of accessibility of current Public Transport infrastructure
Accessibility Consultative Committee (ACC)
Under the NDIS, each Government Department has a consultative committee to oversee and monitor the NDIS Actions assigned to it and its Agencies. The DTTAS consultative committee is called the Accessibility Consultative Committee (ACC).
- The role of the ACC is to monitor and review progress in relation to the implementation of their respective actions under the NDIS. The Terms of Reference are attached to this webpage.
- Membership of the ACC is drawn from organisations representing people with disabilities, members of the Disability Stakeholders Group, key agencies under the aegis of the Department, as well as other relevant State agencies.
- Minutes of the 2018 quarterly ACC meetings are available at the bottom of this page, as attachments.
- Since 2018, there have been 4 presentations made at meetings: by Sport Ireland, Bus Éireann, Irish Rail and Dublin Bus.
In addition to the NDIS and CES strategies, there are also a number of other Government strategies and plans which include accessibility related actions and commitments, primarily in the public transport area, assigned to DTTAS, its Agencies, other State Agencies and public transport operators. In 2018, DTTAS consolidated all these Actions and commitments into a Work Programme, with 56 Actions, which is updated quarterly. (2018 - Quarter 1, Quarter 2, Quarter 3, Quarter 4). This forms the basis for the ACC's role in monitoring progress.