Your rights - motoring and transport
Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) gives people with disabilities rights of access in relation to motoring, transport and travel infrastructure, such as railway stations, airports and travel agents.
The Disability Discrimination Act and public transport
Transport vehicles are covered by separate provisions in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and accessibility regulations have been introduced to improve the accessibility of buses and coaches and trains.
A similar package for taxis is being developed.
If you use a wheelchair, the publication 'Wheels within wheels: a guide to using a wheelchair on public transport', produced by Ricability tells you what you can expect from newer trains, coaches, buses and taxis.
The DDA also means that you have a right to information about transport - timetables for example - in a format that is accessible to you where it is reasonable for the transport provider to provide it in that format.
The Disability Discrimination (Transport Vehicles) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009
From 25 January 2010 there have been new duties placed on those transport providers who operate trains, buses, coaches, taxis, rental vehicles and breakdown recovery vehicles.
The new regulations make it unlawful for transport providers to treat disabled people less favourably than those without a disability. They require transport providers to make reasonable adjustments to their policies, procedures and practices to ensure that disabled people do not find it impossible or unreasonably difficult to access their services. The extent to which the duties apply depends on the type of vehicle used.
- The Disability Discrimination (Transport Vehicles) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009
- Explanatory Memorandum to the Disability Discrimination (Transport Vehicles) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 (PDF 301 KB)
- Help with PDF files
The Equality Commission of Northern Ireland has developed a Code of Practice and short guides for transport providers and users to inform them of their rights and responsibilities under the new Regulations. These can be accessed on the Equality Commission’s website using the link below.
Buses and coaches
Since December 2000, new buses and coaches that are used on local and scheduled services and can transport more than 22 passengers have had to comply with Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations.
In Northern Ireland there are various Translink Smartpasses available for disabled people.
- Buses and bus passes
- Public Service Vehicles (Amendment) Regulations Northern Ireland - legislation.gov.uk website
Since December 1998, all new rail vehicles have had to meet Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations.
Learning to drive
The usual minimum age for driving cars is 17. For anyone who is getting Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate (mobility component), the minimum age for driving is 16.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, insurers can only charge disabled people higher premiums if the extra charge is based on factual or statistical data, or there are other relevant factors which indicate that a disabled person is a higher risk.
Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee
The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) was established as an independent body to advise Government on the transport needs of all disabled people across the UK. DPTAC also advises on the barriers faced by disabled people created by the design management and operation of buildings, streets and open space and how these might be overcome.
Help and advice from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is a good source of advice if you feel you may have been discriminated against by a service provider.
The commission's disability helpline provides advice and information about the Disability Discrimination Act to disabled people, employers, service providers, schools and colleges, and friends and families of people with disabilities.
- Equality Commission NI enquiry helpline: 028 9089 0890
- Textphone: 028 9050 0589
- Email: email@example.com
- Equality Commission for Northern Ireland website