Strangford ferry accessibility

Information for passengers about the accessibility of Strangford and Portaferry ports and the Strangford ferry vessels. This includes specific information to help passengers with a disability or reduced mobility.

Port accessibility

Strangford and Portaferry operate as unmanned ports. Loading of vehicles and boarding of passengers from the public road is directed by the on-board crew.

No ferry personnel are present at the slipway between sailings and there is no check-in sailing facility.

A parking bay for the use of people with a disability is located in Portaferry outside No 11 The Strand, just opposite the slipway. There is limited free on-street parking in Portaferry.

There is no parking bay specifically for the use of people with a disability at Strangford. There is limited free parking available off-street at Strangford.

Vessel accessibility

The Strangford ferry service operates two vehicle ferries:

  • MV Portaferry II
  • MV Strangford II

Vehicles and foot passengers board the ferries using the harbour slipway and a sloping vehicle ramp. There are no steps or gates to negotiate.

The gradient of the ridged slipway is one in seven with no handrail. While every effort is made to keep the slipways clean and non-slip, passengers with reduced mobility may need help. There is a step up of around 30mm where the vessel ramp meets the slipway.

The gradient of the vessel ramp varies to a maximum of one in six, depending on the tide. The ramp has a non-slip finish and a handrail. Wheelchair users can board the ferry using the vehicle area of the vessel ramp.

On the MV Portaferry II the door into the passenger accommodation is 840mm wide with a 40mm threshold; on the MV Strangford II the door is 800mm wide with a 160mm threshold. A ramp is available for wheelchair users to access the passenger accommodation on the MV Strangford II.

The upper passenger decks on each vehicle ferry are only accessible by using steep narrow ladders and, as such, may not be accessible for passengers with reduced mobility.

On the MV Portaferry II the vehicle lanes are 1.8m wide with a 0.56m space between lanes.

On the MV Strangford II there are two 1.8m wide lanes and one 2.5m wide lane, with a 0.75m space between lanes.

Facilities for people with a disability or reduced mobility

There is no need to contact the Strangford ferry service beforehand to ask for access help.

Designated meeting points

Clearly-signed designated meeting points for foot passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility are located at the top of the slipways in Strangford and Portaferry. The ferry crew monitor these locations during the ferry approach and loading.

Help provided for passengers

The following help will be provided when asked for from the crew of the vessel:

  • the crew will help foot passengers to get on and get off the vessel
  • the crew will help owners of recognised assistance dogs

There is limited space on the vehicle ferry and this, together with a short crossing time, means that the crew cannot normally help passengers to, for example, move out of a vehicle into a wheelchair.

The crew will, however, if asked before the start of vehicle loading, provide parking on the ferry to more easily make possible temporary exit of the vehicle.

Safety information

Before each sailing the following safety information is announced over the vessel public announcement system:

"Ladies and  gentlemen, welcome to the Strangford Lough ferry service. Please listen carefully to this safety announcement. Emergency instructions are displayed in the passenger accommodation and on deck. Please read them carefully. Thank you".

The following safety information is on display in the passenger accommodation and on deck:

'In the event of an emergency you will be informed by means of an announcement or a signal consisting of seven short blasts and one prolonged blast on the ship’s whistle.

'In the event of the ship having to be abandoned, you will be instructed when to enter the life rafts. The ship is equipped with personal life-jackets, inflatable life rafts and lifebuoys. The crew will assist passengers according to the respective life-saving equipment.

'For safety reasons passengers are requested to keep clear of the car deck while the ferry is loading/ unloading traffic'.

If you have hearing loss and would like to be alerted to emergency announcements or signals, please let a crew member know.

More details

A full copy of these conditions can be seen in the window of the Strangford ferry terminal office.

 

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.