Plea for accessible bus shelters in Youghal
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.