Munster quizzes Minister on appalling treatment of disabled passengers on 190 bus route
Imelda Munster TD and Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport, Tourism and Sport yesterday questioned Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD on the scandalous lack of services for people with disabilities who rely on the 190 bus route between Laytown and Drogheda.
Deputy Munster said:
“Is the Minister aware that one in four people with a disability do not use public transport for accessibility reasons? Is he also aware that most rail and bus services require 24 hours' notice in advance of travel for a wheelchair user in order to provide the service? In what other country would that be an acceptable situation in the year 2016?
“What plans has Minister Ross that are different from the previous Minister's to address this issue? The previous Department plans had widespread deficiencies, as we know. Disability access is one area of the Minister's new portfolio where he could really make a difference, if he chose to do so.”
Deputy Munster raised the case of a constituent in Laytown who is required to give 24 hours notice to bus services before travelling. He has been asked to justify his reasons for travelling by a bus-driver, and has been left on the side of the road on occasion, due to the lack of services to facilitate travel for people with disabilities.
“No one should have to accept treatment like this. It is outrageous to expect people to go through this rigmarole every time they want to take a bus. This is blatant discrimination against people with disabilities.”
Deputy Munster also succeeded in getting a commitment from Minister Ross that he would raise the matter with the Minister for Disability Issues Finian McGrath TD and that he would contact the NTA to seek further clarity on plans to resolve issues on the 190 bus route.