Written Answers. - Public Transport.

Wednesday, 9 October 2002

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 554 No. 5

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  1289.  Mr. Naughten  Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten   asked the Minister for Transport  Information on Seamus Brennan  Zoom on Seamus Brennan   his policy in relation to the provision of wheelchair accessible buses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16706/02]

Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): Information on Seamus Brennan  Zoom on Seamus Brennan  It is my policy that all bus and rail public transport operators, and in particular the State owned transport companies, should provide the highest possible degree of accessibility within the overall resources available to them.

In accordance with the national development plan, all buses purchased by both Bus Átha Cliath and Bus Éireann since 2000 for use on urban services are low floor and wheelchair accessible.

In pursuing this policy Bus Átha Cliath has now acquired some 367 low floor wheelchair accessible buses for its Dublin city services. This represents almost 35% of the city fleet and some 35 bus routes in Dublin now have fully accessible services.

Following a comprehensive bus replacement programme in recent years, Bus Éireann's entire regular urban fleets in Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford are low floor wheelchair accessible vehicles. In addition, the company has 20 low floor wheelchair accessible buses on a number of rural routes and has six low floor double deck buses on the Ashbourne-Dublin commuter route. Bus Éireann is continuing to monitor developments in relation to the design and manufacture of long distance coaches, which would improve the company's capacity to meet the needs of people with mobility impairments on its inter-urban services.


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