Your rights - motoring and transport
Disability discrimination law gives people with disabilities rights of access for motoring, transport and travel infrastructure, such as railway stations, airports and travel agents.
Transport vehicles are covered by separate terms under disability discrimination law.
Accessibility regulations have also been introduced to improve the accessibility of buses and coaches and trains. A similar package for taxis is being developed.
This also means that you have a right to information about transport, for example timetables, in a format that is accessible to you where it is reasonable for the transport provider to give it in that format.
Legal protection against transport discrimination
Regulations make it unlawful for transport providers (who run trains, buses, coaches, taxis, rental vehicles and breakdown recovery vehicles) to treat people with disabilities less favourably than those without a disability.
Transport providers need to make reasonable adjustments to their policies, procedures and practices to make sure people with disabilities 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 (NI) 2009
- Explanatory Memorandum about the regulations
The Equality Commission of Northern Ireland has developed a code of practice and short guides for transport providers about rights and responsibilities under the regulations. These are available from the following link:.
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 meet Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations.
In Northern Ireland there are various Translink Smartpasses for people with disabilities.
Since December 1998, all new rail vehicles have 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 part), the minimum age for driving is 16.
Insurers can only charge people with disabilities higher premiums if the extra charge is based on factual or statistical data. Or, if there are other relevant factors which suggest that a person with disabilities is a higher risk.
Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee
The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) was set up as an independent body to advise Government on the transport needs of all people with disabilities across the UK.
DPTAC also advises on the barriers faced by people with disabilities created by the design management and running of buildings, streets and open space and how these might be overcome.
Help and advice from the Equality Commission
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.