Written answers

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Department of Rural and Community Development

Island Communities

Photo of Claire KerraneClaire Kerrane (Roscommon-Galway, Sinn Fein)
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275. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the strategies and funding in place to provide access for persons with disabilities on the islands including transport and infrastructure to support disability access on each island. [23487/21]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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My Department is mindful of those with disabilities or reduced mobility availing of subsidised island transport services. Ferry and air service operators are required to ensure that the service they provide caters for passengers of reduced mobility, and that their staff are fully trained in assisting passengers.

Ferry operators are required to make the necessary arrangements to cater for persons of reduced mobility to and from any vessel during a sailing. In doing so they must abide by the ‘Guidelines for Accessible Maritime Passenger Transport’ which have been issued by the Department of Transport and the National Disability Authority and must be complied with.

Operators providing air services must ensure that the adequate provisions are made for the safe and comfortable handling of passengers with reduced mobility. Staff will assist passengers with reduced mobility when embarking / disembarking from the aircraft, during the flight itself and, if required, during the road transport element of the service. The road transport portion of this service is fully wheelchair accessible and all staff are fully trained in assisting with patrons with reduced mobility.

These measures form part of the transport contracts that are funded by the Department and are in place to ensure reliable year round access routes to and from the islands for all patrons.


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