Plea for ac­ces­si­ble bus shel­ters in Youghal

Irish Examiner - County - - Front page - Christy Parker

Cork County Coun­cil has been urged “do what­ever pos­si­ble” to ac­quire dis­abil­ity-mod­i­fied bus shel­ters for Youghal.

Cllr Mary Line­han-Fo­ley said she was re­ceiv­ing “reg­u­lar re­quests” for the fa­cil­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly since Water­ford County Coun­cil re­cently com­menced in­stalling two shel­ters in Dun­gar­van.

Youghal wheel­chair user Mark Kearns wel­comed Water­ford’s ini­tia­tive but said he still can­not travel by bus to Ir­ish Wheel­chair As­so­ci­a­tion gath­er­ings in Dun­gar­van as he “can­not board or dis­em­bark from a bus at the Youghal end”.

Cllr Danielle Twomey also in­formed the East Cork Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict meet­ing she had made rep­re­sen­ta­tion on be­half of a Youghal girl who had been un­able to at­tend col­lege due to a dif­fi­culty board­ing buses.

Dis­abled peo­ple, she said, “re­ally suf­fer in Ire­land, com­pared to other coun­tries”.

She called on the gov­ern­ment to “im­ple­ment fully” the UN Con­ven­tion on the Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties.

Ire­land only rat­i­fied the con­ven­tion in 2017, ten years after join­ing 175 other coun­tries which had signed up to it. How­ever, some do­mes­tic leg­isl at ion may have to be amended to com­ply with cer­tain di­rec­tives.

Bus Éire­ann, mean­while, said “the over­all re­spon­si­bil­ity for ap­prov­ing and fund­ing bus shel­ters lies with the Na­tional Trans­port Author­ity (NTA)”.

A spokes­woman said its city and town fleets “are fully wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble”, as are al­most 90% of its Ex­press­way ser­vices, but the nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture is of­ten ab­sent.

Bus Éire­ann said it re­quires 24 hours no­tice for one-off jour­neys to pro­vide a wheel­chair-suit­able ve­hi­cle.

How­ever, the com­pany says a ve­hi­cle with seats re­moved will be as­signed on routes where a wheel­chair-bound cus­tomer reg­u­larly trav­els, such as to col­lege, once jour­ney times are pro­vided.

With var­i­ous other public trans­port-re­lated is­sues also in mind, the mu­nic­i­pal dis­trict body in East Cork de­cided to in­vite a Bus Éire­ann rep­re­sen­ta­tive to a meet­ing.

The NTA said it works and li­aises closely with county coun­cils in re­la­tion to the pro­posed pro­vi­sion of dis­abled bus shel­ters.

Both the na­tional body and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties are cur­rently over­see­ing the pro­vi­sion of a dis­abled bus shel­ter in Kin­sale.

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