Rapid progress on Irish Rail access issues
March 5 2018, 04:22pm
Two weeks ago we had people unable to get off a DART at an accesssibility launch. Now, after months of quiet lobbying, there are mandatory places on transport boards for people with disabilities.
Jan. 29th - Read our press release. It outlined our concerns over how Irish Rail’s new DART accessibility pilot scheme would work in practice.
When two commuters using wheelchairs were unable to get off the DART at Connolly Station to attend the launch we felt our point was made.
The voices of people with disabilities who know the realities were heard on RTE/TV3 TV, radio and newspapers news all day. Irish Rail had to concede their new programme was a work in progress.
Feb. 5th - DFI, Irish Wheelchair Association and Central Remedial Clinic had written to Irish Rail and the Minister for Transport looking for consultations. Following the launch the CEOs of the three disability groups meet the Minister.
Feb. 9th - Minister Shane Ross appeared before the OireachtasTransport Committee. He said: "The most appropriate expert voice for the views and difficulties of the disabled is not that of able-bodied politicians or semi-state company directors. It is their own. The most appropriate place for them to express these views is not only in the media, it is in the boardroom.
From now on one board member who has personal knowledge and experience of the needs and difficulties of people with disabilities using public transport must be appointed to such boards. Click here to find out how the process will work and how to apply.
In his decision he acknowledged:
“People such as Padraic Moran, who appeared before the Committee this morning, Sean O’Kelly, representatives of the IWA, CRC and the DFI, members of both Houses and in particular Senator John Dolan, have all helped to inform my view that we must do more.
DFI CEO, Sen John Dolan welcomed the Minister’s announcement, and said: "Transport is just one part of the wider public service. “Every Minister must set out their action plan on implementation of the UN CRPD based on interaction with people with disabilities.”