Accessible Accommodation and Transport
Full details of accessible accommodation can be found as part of the ABLE Ireland scheme.
Please note the text of this document was prepared from official information from Irish Rail and Dublin Bus.
Planning Your Journey
- Try to give at least 24-hours’ notice of your journey.
- When contacting your local station or the Access and Liaison Office, please give the following details:
- Date of travel and departure time of the train.
- Destination station and any intermediate stations where a change of train is necessary.
- Nature of disability.
- Means of transport to and from departure and arrival stations e.g. taxi, private car and whether someone is meeting you at your destination.
- Whether you will be travelling alone or with a companion.
- Whether assistance will be required at the departure and arrival stations and if so how staff will be able to identify you.
- Any other details to assist railway staff or which you wish to clarify.
- Please give similar details about your return journey, if known, particularly if you are returning the same day or within a few days.
If you need to cancel a journey for which special arrangements have been made, please let staff know so that staff can be made available to assist others. This guide is intended to assist you in planning your journey. Train timetables are available from all stations as well as travel centres in Dublin, Cork and Belfast.
All stations have access to one platform. Some have access to both platforms. Where a station has access to only one platform most services use this platform. For operational reasons, some services have to use the other platform so advance notice will assist Irish Rail in making arrangements on your behalf. Most mainline stations have portable ramps and some have wheelchairs to assist people with walking difficulties to transfer to and from trains. Most mainline and suburban and all DART stations have PA announcements for those who have a visual impairment, giving information about the next train to arrive at the platform. Tactile tiles have been put in place in some stations to assist the visually impaired. All new lifts are being equipped with Braille Coded Buttons and feature a talking lift mechanism for the visually impaired. Real Time Passenger Information Displays are being introduced in the DART stations and a programme has been developed to introduce induction loops at booking offices for the hearing impaired.
On the Trains
Mainline and Suburban trains require a ramp to permit boarding from the platform to the carriages. A special portable ramp is used for this purpose. These are currently available at all terminal points and major junctions and are being made available at other smaller stations. DART trains can be accessed directly from platforms and the trains have wide doors and a large vestibule area to accommodate wheelchairs. At some stations there is a gap between the platform and the carriage. This may create difficulty for the mobility and visually impaired and assistance may be required. With regard to on-train facilities, Irish Rail provide a dedicated space in the dining car of each train specifically designated for the mobility impaired. The dining car was chosen because there is a dining car on all InterCity trains, there is always a staff presence, refreshments are available and a telephone is also provided nearby. All dining cars in the fleet have been modified to provide wheelchair access and accommodation. In the event of numerous wheelchair users travelling, we need advance notice to facilitate the removal of seats and tables from a coach so that the necessary accommodation can be provided. A small number of services are operated by coaches which are not accessible to wheelchair users, so advance notice or enquiry will ensure that customers are not disappointed. Guide dogs and hearing dogs for the hearing impaired may be taken into buffets and restaurants on trains and in stations.
Source: Irish Rail – Iarnród Éireann, July 2003
Almost all Dublin Bus routes are now operated using fully accessible vehicles; however, at peak times, services may be supplemented by older, less accessible buses.
Features of the new buses:
- Low floor single step entry
- Kneeling suspension to further reduce entry step height
- Retractable ramp at entrance door
- Priority space for wheelchair user, which may also be used for a buggy
- Wider gangways for customer comfort
- Increased headroom
- Improved interior lighting and heating
- Improved grip bars
- Palm activated bell pushes
- High visibility electronic destination display on front of buses
- Much lower engine exhaust emissions
Guidelines on using the Bus
- Queue at the bus stop in the normal manner.
- When the bus you need approaches the stop, please put your hand out to notify the driver that you want to get on that bus.
- All buses will stop where there is a wheelchair user at the bus stop
- When the bus stops, ask the driver to kneel the bus or to operate the ramp
- Please be patient and keep clear of the bus while it is kneeling or the ramp is being lowered or raised
- The bell/buzzer will stop when the operation is completed; it is then safe to board the bus
- Please do not attempt to enter or leave the bus from the side of the ramp
- Please don’t enter until people leaving by the front door have departed
- If you require the kneeling or ramp facility, please advise the driver when boarding where you wish to alight
On the Bus
- Every accessible bus has one priority space. This space is allocated for a wheelchair user and may also be used for a buggy. Only one wheelchair or buggy may occupy this space. Brakes should be applied on your wheelchair.
- When a buggy is occupying this space, the child will be left in the buggy and the buggy’s brakes should be applied. The parent or guardian should either sit or stand with the buggy. In the event of any difficulty please inform the driver.
- Once the space has been occupied, a customer who wishes to board the bus with a further buggy must remove their child from their buggy and stow the buggy away safely.
- If you are visually impaired or are unsure that the bus is the correct one, ask the driver and he or she will be pleased to assist you with your inquiries.
- Guide dogs are allowed on all buses. Please note guide dogs should not be petted by anyone other than the owner.
Arriving at your Destination
- Please press the bell in time when approaching your required stop, so that the driver can stop safely
- Make your way to the exit but do not cross the white line until t he bus has stopped
- If you require the kneeling facility or the ramp, you must exit by the front door of the bus
- When the bus stops request the driver to kneel the bus or to operate the ramp
- Wait until the bus has completed the kneeling operation or the ramp is fully in place before attempting to leave the vehicle.
Source: Dublin Bus, July 2003