Transport accessibility for persons with disabilities ‘must be improved across all sectors’ – Ó Caoláin
Irish Rail has today rolled out a new accessibility programme whereby wheelchair users will now have to give 4 hours’ notice to secure assistance as opposed to the previous requirement of 24 hours.
Responding to this development, Teachta Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Sinn Féin spokesperson on disability rights, said “any improvements that will make the lives of persons with disabilities easier and allow them to travel in a more accessible manner are of course welcome.
“However, I do not believe this measure goes far enough. Expecting a disabled person to give four hours’ notice to travel is still not acceptable.
“This is a matter of equality. We have a long way to go in Ireland to achieve equal treatment for our disabled citizens.
“The failure of successive Governments to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is another indication of just how far we still have to go.
“A raft of legislation is required to meet the conditions necessary for the implementation of the Convention. Government need to get on with that without delay.
“All transport sectors, including road and rail, need to get to a position where disabled persons can book travel in the exact same manner as an able-bodied person and with no need for any notice period because of their disability.
“I call on the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to ensure that this is a priority for our public transport services and to apply maximum pressure to private operators across the transport network to ensure the same standards across their services.”