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Accessible Transport

disabled person going onto busdisabled person coming off train

Transport is a very important issue for disabled people today, as it impacts on their lives and opportunities on a day-to-day basis. Today, there is still a lack of accessible transport in urban and rural areas, and this is creating serious difficulties for disabled people throughout Ireland, particularly in rural areas. PWDI lobbied the Irish government about this for several years. With the closure of PWDI, NCPD aims to continue this effort and work with the government and civil servants and others to deliver more accessible transport, especially in rural areas.

National Level
In 2005, the Government passed the Disability Act and this established Sectoral Plans for various government departments. These Sectoral Plans aim to provide greater access for all disabled people to all goods and services, including transport services. The Department of Transport has a Sectoral Plan which aims to increase accessibility on all public and private transport vehicles with a view to having all public transport vehicles fully accessible by 2016. At national level, NCPD will continue the work of PWDI, working with government ministers and senior civil servants to monitor and assess progress in the implementation of this plan.

You can download the Department of Transport's Sectoral Plan published in 2006 here . (This Sectoral Plan is in PDF file format. PDF files have been made more accessible to disabled people. Click on this sentence to view important information about PDF files and accessibility.)

Further updates to this Sectoral Plan include;

2008 Progress Report

2010 Progress Report

The 2016 timetable may not be reached due to the economic downturn and collapse in government revenues in the period 2008 -2012. The Department of Transport is also increasing the percentage of private transport operators with accessible facilities to meet demand in urban and rural areas.

Modes of transport include public and private buses, rail, taxis and hackneys, light rail (Luas, DART), airports and airplanes, ports and ships, and disabled parking. NCPD will continue working with Government Ministers and transport managers on this Sectoral Plan and it's implementation in each county of Ireland. Some of our members are doing accessibility audits on vehicles and facilities ; "Information is power" and providing valuable feedback to the Government and transport managers. NCPD have received Progress Reports and will continue doing so. NCPD is also working at local and county level to address this problem.

Local Level

NCPD in Galway is seeking representation or has got representation on the following bodies so as to represent and work for the interests of all disabled people on these bodies

- Bealach the rural transport service for Connemara

- North East Galway Rural Transport Programme

- South East Galway Rural Integrated Transport Service

- Clare Accessible Transport (covers south Galway)

- Galway Transportation Unit

They are working to have accessible facilities on all buses engaged in these rural transport programmes. They are also working on expanding the routes covered and rural areas serviced. This is vitally important for disabled people in rural areas.

The following sections provides information about the various rural transport services and city and town transport services.

BEALACH - Rural Transport Connemara

logo for Bealach

Bealach provide transport services for people living in rural areas of Connemara. Most of their mini-buses are accessible to disabled people. We represent the interests of disabled people on this organisation. Click on the website for more information.

Address: 5A Centre, Enterprise Centre, Carna, Carna, Co. Galway.
Telephone: 095 32802

NCPD representative: to be decided

North East Galway Rural Transport Programme

The North East Galway Rural Transport Programme provide transport services for people living in rural areas of north Galway. Some of their mini-buses are accessible to disabled people. We represent the interests of disabled people on this organisation. Click on the website for more information

Website: North East Galway Rural Transport Programme

NCPD representative: to be decided

South East Galway Rural Integrated Transport Service

South East Galway Integrated Rural Development (IRD), Portumna, Co. Galway provides a number of services including the management of the Rural Transport Services for South & East Galway. They are working on making minibuses accessible to disabled people.

Website: South East Galway Rural Transport Programme

NCPD representative: to be decided

Clare Accessible Transport

clare accessible transport

Clare accessible Transport provide transport services for people living in rural areas of Clare and south Galway. The Galway areas include Gort and Kinvara. All of their mini-buses are accessible to disabled people. We represent the interests of disabled people on this organisation. Click on the website for more information.


NCPD representative: to be decided

GTU logo

Galway City Council established the Galway Transportation Unit (GTU) to develop and implement an Integrated Transport Solution for Galway City in accordance with best practice and the objectives outlined in Transport 21.Working in partnership with transport stakeholders in the City, the Integrated Transport Solution will be developed and implemented to promote increased use of public and non-car based transport services, overcome existing congestion and delays in the network and promote a sustainable transport system for Galway City.

The Galway Transportation Unit aims to develop public transportation and other travel modes to the extent that the City will become a model for a sustainable traffic system in an urban environment.

- Galway Public Transport Feasibility Study

- Galway Transportation Unit Business Plan 2008 - 2012

NCPD representative: To be decided.

Address: Galway Transportation Unit, Galway City Council, City Hall, College Road, Galway city.

Phone: 091 536400


Web site:

Personal Transport which is Accessible

accessible car


Motability Ireland logo

Mobility Ireland Ltd was established in 1999 by Malachy McElmeel. Based in Ashbourne Co Meath, Motability Ireland manufactures car adaptations to assist disabled drivers and passengers. The most common type of adaptations are hand controls for disabled drivers and swivel seats for disabled passengers but the list of adaptation solutions available is vast.
The company has also grown to be the leading supplier of wheelchair accessible cars for disabled passengers. Whether you are in the market for a new wheelchair accessible car or a pre owned one, Motability Ireland have the vehicle in stock and offer free home demonstrations. Motability Ireland is also the country’s specialist in Drive from Wheelchair Vehicles to give wheelchair confined drivers complete independence.

Address:          Unit 21 Ashbourne Industrial Park, Ashbourne, Co. Meath

Telephone:       01 835 9173

Fax:                 01 835 9043



disabled drivers logo

The Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) is an organisation working for disabled people, promoting independence and equal opportunity through mobility, education and training. The organisations members are people with disabilities themselves. DDAI operates its National Driving Assessment Centre at the DDAI Headquarters in Ballindine, Claremorris, Co. Mayo. The centre is equipped with the only Static Assessment Unit in the country and provides assessments to learners drivers, as part of driver rehabilitation or to benefit older drivers. Our driving school is unique in that it is the only year round residential driving school in Ireland. Driving lessons in diversely adapted vehicles are given as part of an intensive programme of driving instruction.

The association operates a general information service on all disability issues and entitlements, offering specialist information and advice on all aspects of disabled driving; motor insurance, purchase and adaptation of motor vehicles and the Disabled Drivers / Passengers Tax Concession Scheme, Motorised Transport Grant, driving abroad, car hire for people with disabilities and many other subjects.Members of our association enjoy benefits including discounts on purchase of new cars, discounts on ferry travel, a health insurance group scheme representing a saving on premiums and an educational bursary available to members who wish to pursue a course in higher education. Members can also avail of a free AA breakdown service, holiday accommodation at a nominal rent and the association’s magazine “Steering Wheel” free of charge.

The Disabled Drivers Association is accredited by the Department of Transport to issue the EU Disabled Persons Parking Card. This card is valid across all member states of the European Union.

Source: Disabled Drivers Association web site

Address: Ballindine, Claremorris, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Phone: 094 – 936 4054 or 094 – 936 4266

International Examples of Best Practises in Accessible Transport

Air Travel




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