Accessible Travel

Travel Information for People With Mobility Difficulties

Ireland

This website provides general information to make it easier for people with mobility difficulties to travel to, from and within Ireland. Links to other websites, which provide more detailed information, are also provided.

Links to Accessibility information on Transport Operators websites:

Dublin Bus

Irish Rail

Bus Eireann

Luas

Other Regions

Accessible travel information is also available about other regions by visiting the following links:

Ferry

Travelling to and from Ireland - by Ferry

European Regulation 1177/2010 on the Rights of Passengers Travelling by Sea and Inland Waterways, came into effect on 18 December 2012. The Regulation applies to vessels certified to carry more than 12 passengers and operated by a European Union Carrier. It includes provisions on non-discrimination and assistance for people with disabilities and reduced mobility similar to those already in force for rail and air passengers. This includes an obligation to: provide assistance at ports or harbours and on board ships; carry recognised assistance dogs (subject to national regulations); carry mobility equipment (such as wheelchairs) free of charge and to provide information in accessible formats. Statutory Instrument No. 394 of 2012 designates the National Transport Authority as the national enforcement body for the purposes of Regulation (EU) No. 1177/2010 in Ireland. An Information Note summarising passenger rights in the area is available here.

Ferries & Ferry Ports

Ferry companies operating to and from Ireland use ships which are accessible to people with mobility difficulties. If you need help with boarding and disembarking you should give the ferry company as much notice as possible so that they can make arrangements (this may mean boarding via the car deck and using a lift to reach the passenger deck).

Ferry Companies

Handy website link for ferry price comparisons, reviews etc

Ferry Port and Harbour Companies

For full details of your passenger rights see http://www.nationaltransport.ie/public-transport- services/maritime-passengers-rights-2/

Air

Travelling to and from Ireland - by Airplane

Airlines & Airports

Under European legislation (Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006), disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility should not be refused carriage by air on the grounds of their disability or lack of mobility, except for reasons which are justified on the grounds of safety and are prescribed by law. Disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility are entitled to receive the assistance specified in the Regulation free of charge at the airport as well as on board aircraft. In Ireland the Commission for Aviation Regulation is the National Enforcement Body for the Regulation. The Commission has launched a website called Flightrights.ie which includes details for disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air. When booking flights, disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility should give airlines at least 48 hours notice of their particular needs to enable the airlines and airports to make the necessary arrangements.

Airlines

Airports

Car

Travelling in Ireland - by Car

Hire of Adapted Vehicles

For information on the hire of vehicles with adaptations for disabled drivers \ passengers please contact the Irish Wheelchair Association or Motability Ireland.

Speed Limits

Speed limits in Ireland are in kilometers per hour (km/h). In general, the speed limits are 50 km/h in towns and cities, 80 km/h on regional and local Roads, 100 km/h on national roads and 120 km/h on motorways. Some areas have other speed limits and these are shown in km/h as you enter the area.

Toll Roads

Information regarding toll exemptions for disabled drivers is available from the National Roads Authority.

 The Blue Badge Scheme / Disabled Parking Permit

If you have been issued with a disabled persons' parking permit (commonly referred to as the Blue Parking Card or Blue Badge), then you can use it here as long as it contains the recognised pictorial symbol of a person sitting in a wheelchair. It allows you to use the designated disabled parking spaces provided on street. There is no need to display a time clock when you use your Blue Badge in Ireland. Remember, a Blue Badge is not a license to park anywhere. You still have to obey the rules of the road and should not park where it would endanger, inconvenience or obstruct pedestrians or other road users. On 1st June 2011 new traffic and parking regulations were introduced which revise the criteria for eligibility for a Disabled Person’s Parking Permit from a focus on type of medical condition to a focus on level of mobility impairment. The Regulations also remove the exemption of permit holders from the rule against parking again in a public space within one hour. Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 239 of 2011). The parking concessions provided under the Blue Badge scheme only apply to on-street parking in designated spaces. They do not apply in multi-storey car parks, for instance, although disabled spaces are provided generally in the most accessible locations, where permit/badge holders usually have to pay. However, many supermarkets and shopping centres designate specific bays for disabled persons' parking. In Ireland, disabled persons' parking permits (Blue Badge) may be issued by local authorities, the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Disabled Drivers Association. The permits have national application. Permits are granted to eligible disabled persons and may be issued to a disabled person who is a driver or to a disabled person who is a passenger. The form of the permit allows for its recognition in other EU member states.

Further Information

Bus

Travelling in Ireland - by Bus

European Regulation 181/2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport came into effect on 1st March 2013. This Regulation provides among other things for: a) Compensation for delayed or cancelled services; b) Information provision before and during a journey; c) The needs of people with disabilities or reduced mobility; and d) Staff training. Public transport bus services in Ireland are provided by both State-owned and private transport operators. Accessible transport Dial-a-Ride services for people with disabilities together with ageing and older people are provided byspecialised Accessible Transport Operators.

State Bus Companies

Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann (Irish Bus) are the State bus companies. Dublin Bus provides bus services within Dublin city as well as to and from the surrounding areas. Bus Éireann operates intercity coach services together with commuter services in the cities of Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Galway. It also provides services on a network of routes throughout Ireland as well as commuter services in some large towns. Both Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann are obliged to provide services to people with disabilities. You can read more aboutservices for people with mobility difficulties provided by Dublin Bus and services for people with mobility difficulties provided by Bus Éireann by clicking on the links.

Other Bus Companies

A number of private operators also provide public transport bus services in Ireland but not all of these services are accessible to people with mobility difficulties. You can get more information by clicking on the following links:

Rural Transport Programme (RTP)

Local Link is a development of the Rural Transport Programme (RTP) which was launched in 2007 to build on the success of its predecessor, the Rural Transport Initiative (RTI). The RTI was established as a pilot project in 2002 to address issues of unmet transport needs from a social inclusion and community-based perspective. The RTI and RTP specifically focused on responding to rural isolation and enhancing the mobility, accessibility and community participation of local people, particularly those at risk of social exclusion. In 2013, 224,158 vehicle trips were provided under the programme while 1.74million passenger journeys were taken. There will be 18 Local Link Offices nationwide. These offices will manage approximately 1,000 Public Bus Services in local and rural areas of Ireland. Local Link Offices open from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. Local Link provides a combination of scheduled Public Transport services and door-to-door services. Door to door services should be pre-booked with the Local Link office closest to the service you wish to use. Details of Local Link Services are available through the National Journey Planner. Alternatively, more detailed information on the range of services in your area can be obtained by contacting your Local Link office which will be happy to pre-book a seat if required.

Concessionary Travel

If you have a concessionary fare pass from another administration, it will not work here. The only exception is the all-ireland free travel scheme for people over 65 who live in Northern Ireland. Free travel on State bus services and on Rural Transport Programme services is available to everyone permanently living in Ireland that is aged 66 and over. Certain people under that age are also entitled to free travel. In some cases, a free companion pass may be available to allow a person to accompany the free travel pass holder. If you qualify for free travel, you will be issued with a pass that you must carry with you when using public transport. Free travel passes are non-transferrable and can only be used by the named person. Free travel is also available on a limited number of services operated by private bus transport companies that have opted in to the Free Travel Scheme of the Department of Social Protection. More information about Free Travel. Special offers and concessionary fares may also be available from the bus companies subject to specific terms and conditions.

 Assistance Dogs, Working Guide Dogs and Pets

Guide dogs accompanying passengers who hold a Registered Blind Person's Pass are carried free of charge on Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann services. Animals other than guide dogs are carried on Dublin bus services at the discretion of the driver. According to the by-laws governing Dublin Bus, you cannot bring an animal onto the bus if an authorised person (i.e., driver or inspector) asks you not to do so. No other animals will be carried on Bus Éireann services, under any circumstances. Private transport operators may have their own rules in this regard.

Specialised Accessible Transport Services

The following companies provide accessible transport Dial-a-Ride services for people with disabilities together with ageing and older people with mobility impairments, who are unable to access public transport because of the severity or nature of their impairments: For full details of your passenger rights see http://www.nationaltransport.ie/public-transport- services/coach-and-bus-passenger-rights/

Rail

Travelling in Ireland - by Rail

Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations gives disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility the following rights:
  • disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility have the right to non-discriminatory access to transport at no additional charge when buying a ticket or making a reservation;
  • upon request, disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility shall be provided with information concerning the accessibility of rail services and trains;
  • rail undertakings and station managers shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that trains and other rail services are accessible;
  • rail undertakings and station managers shall make all reasonable efforts to provide assistance free of charge on board trains and at staffed stations; to guarantee assistance under good conditions, passengers are requested to comply with certain provisions (e.g. 48 hours’ notice before departure);
  • disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility have the right to compensation if the rail undertaking is responsible for the loss or damage of mobility equipment.
In Ireland the National Transport Authority is the National Enforcement Body for the Regulation.  

Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann)

Irish Rail is responsible for operating rail services in Ireland. The company operates mainline passenger rail services nationwide. It also provides commuter rail services, including the DART service (electric powered trains) in Dublin and Arrow services (diesel powered trains) in Cork and Galway. Arrow services are also provided between Dublin and Kildare. Intercity Passenger Rail services nationwide
  • Dublin Heuston to/from Ballina, Westport, Galway, Limerick, Ennis, Tralee, Cork, and Waterford
  • Dublin Connolly to/from Belfast, Sligo, Wexford and Rosslare Europort. Services also run between Rosslare Europort and Limerick; Cork and Tralee; and Cork and Limerick
  Commuter Rail services to/from Dublin operate on four lines
  • Northern Commuter service extends from Dublin Pearse Station via Dublin Connolly Station to Dundalk
  • Kildare Commuter service extends west from Dublin Heuston Station to stations as far as Portlaoise
  • Maynooth Commuter service extends from Dublin Pearse Station via Dublin Connolly Station as far Maynooth/Longford
  • Southern Commuter service operates from Dublin Connolly Station to Gorey Station
  • Iarnród Éireann also provide commuter rail transport between Cobh/Midleton and Cork
  DART Rail services (electric powered trains) around Dublin which operate along the coast of Dublin, from Malahide and Howth southwards as far as Greystones, Co Wicklow via Dublin City Centre stations. For map go to www.irishrail.ie/home/company_information.asp. You can read more about services for people with mobility difficulties provided by Iarnród Éireann here.

Concessionary Travel

If you have a concessionary fare pass from another administration, it will not work here. The only exception is the all-ireland free travel scheme for people over 65 who live in Northern Ireland. Free travel on Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) services is available to everyone permanently living in Ireland that is aged 66 and over. Certain people under that age are also entitled to free travel. In some cases, a free companion pass may be available to allow a person to accompany the free travel pass holder. If you qualify for free travel, you will be issued with a pass that you must carry with you when using public transport. Free travel passes are non-transferrable and can only be used by the named person. Free travel passes are issued by the Department of Social Protection. You must present your free travel pass at the ticket office to get a ticket to travel before boarding the train. You may if you wish reserve a seat through telesales on 1850 366 222 (00353 1 8366222) or on www.irishrail.ie by choosing a "Reserve Seat" ticket (nominal fee applies). More information about Free Travel. Special offers and concessionary fares may also be available from Iarnród Éireann subject to specific terms and conditions, for more information go to www.irishrail.ie.

Assistance Dogs, Working Guide Dogs and Pets

Assistance and Guide Dogs are permitted on all Irish Rail services. For information on all other pets please check on the company's website at http://www.irishrail.ie/travel-information/travelling-with-animals.

Luas

Luas is a fully accessible light rail tram system operating in Dublin. The name Luas (pronounced "Lou-As") is the Irish word for speed. This tram system connects suburban parts of Dublin city with the city centre on two separate tramlines and there are designated parking spaces for people with disabilities at park & ride facilities at a least two stops on each line. These tramlines are:
  • The Green Line: connecting Sandyford to St Stephen's Green in the city centre. This journey takes, approximately 22 minutes.
  • The Red Line: connecting Tallaght via the city centre to the O2 concert arena. This journey takes approximately 53 minutes.
Luas trams run every 4-5 minutes at peak time and every 10-15 minutes at off-peak times.

Concessionary Travel

If you have a concessionary fare pass from another administration, it will not work here. The only exception is the all-ireland free travel scheme for people over 65 who live in Northern Ireland. Free travel on Luas services is available to everyone permanently living in Ireland that is aged 66 and over. Certain people under that age are also entitled to free travel. In some cases, a free companion pass may be available to allow a person to accompany the free travel pass holder. If you qualify for free travel, you will be issued with a pass that you must carry with you when using public transport. Free travel passes are non-transferrable and can only be used by the named person. More information about Free Travel. Special offers and concessionary fares may also be available subject to specific terms and conditions. For further information visit www.luas.ie.

Assistance Dogs, Working Guide Dogs and Pets

You are allowed to bring your guide dog onboard Luas trams. However, no other animals are allowed. For full details of your passenger rights see http://www.nationaltransport.ie/public-transport- services/passenger-rights/

Taxi

Travelling in Ireland - by Taxi

Types of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

There are two types – Taxis and Hackneys.

Taxis and Wheelchair Accessible Taxis

Taxis and wheelchair accessible taxis are public hire vehicles. Their licence and licensing requirements allow them to stand for hire at a rank (taxi ranks at airports, train and bus stations) and they can also be hailed on the street. The vehicle is equipped with a taximeter to ensure the maximum fare charged is within regulations. Fares less than the metered value are of course possible.

Hackneys and Wheelchair Accessible Hackneys

Hackneys and wheelchair accessible hackneys are different in that they are private hire vehicles. They do not have taximeters and the key difference is that the journey must be pre-booked, i.e. fare and trip agreed in advance, hence no need for the taximeter. They cannot stand for hire at a rank anywhere nor ply for hire, i.e. they cannot take fares from the public on the street.

The National Transport Authority has created a register of all Wheelchair Accessible Taxis throughout the country. This is to enable improved access to this specialised service for people with disabilities.

You can call the Information Line on 0761 064000 and request contact information for a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle service that operates within your area. If you are calling from outside Ireland please phone + 353 761 064000

You can also e-mail the Authority at taxis@nationaltransport.ie

A guide dog or assistance dog may accompany their owner free of charge in the vehicle.

For more information visit nationaltransport.ie/public-transport-services/taxi/

Boat

Travelling in Ireland - by Boat

European Regulation 1177/2010 on the Rights of Passengers Travelling by Sea and Inland Waterways, came into effect on 18 December 2012. The Regulation applies to vessels certified to carry more than 12 passengers and operated by a European Union Carrier. It includes provisions on non-discrimination and assistance for people with disabilities and reduced mobility similar to those already in force for rail and air passengers. This includes an obligation to: provide assistance at ports or harbours and on board ships; carry recognised assistance dogs (subject to national regulations); carry mobility equipment (such as wheelchairs) free of charge and to provide information in accessible formats. Statutory Instrument No. 394 of 2012 designates the National Transport Authority as the national enforcement body for the purposes of Regulation (EU) No. 1177/2010 in Ireland. An Information Note summarising passenger rights in the area is available here. A number of private vessel operators provide public transport and tourist services in Ireland but not all of these services are accessible to people with mobility difficulties. You can get more information by clicking on the following links:   Passanger boats (12 passengers or less) or ships (more than 12 passengers) in Ireland are required to hold a current valid licence or certificate issued by the Marine Survey Office of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Marine Survey Office, Leeson Lane, Dublin 2. Tel.: (01) 678 34 00, Email: mso@dttas.ie) For full details of your passenger rights see http://www.nationaltransport.ie/public-transport- services/maritime-passengers-rights-2/

Info

Travelling in Ireland

For more information on transport options see

Weather

For weather forecasts visit Met Éireann.

Wheelchair Repairs

For information on companies that provide wheelchair repairs please contact the Irish Wheelchair Association.

International Travel

It is important to be well prepared when planning a journey abroad. Ensure that you have all the information about your trip (and for all parts of your journey) before you book your ticket. There are many sources of information available through your travel agent, transport operator or station, airport or port. Information for Irish Citizens wishing to travel abroad is available here.

European Health Insurance Card

The European Health Insurance Card or EHIC (formerly the E111 form) allows the holder to access health care services when travelling to other EU or EEA countries. Anyone who is living in Ireland or intends to live here for a year can apply for an EHIC from the Health Services Executive. For more information and how to apply visit EHIC. There is no charge for the EHIC card, it is a free public service.

Travelling with a Guide Dog

Information is available from the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Stay

Accommodation and Things to do

Hospitality is the cornerstone of Ireland's tourism industry. 98 % of visitors to Ireland say that they would recommend a holiday in Ireland to Family and Friends. Ireland undertakes independent Quality Assurance assessments for all of the accommodation featured on the Discover Ireland website. This means you have quality assurance from Fáilte Ireland - the National Tourism Development Authority.

Choose from country house hotels, self-catering cottages, welcoming Irish Home B&Bs to caravan parks and campsites. All committed to Quality and providing you with a welcome like no other.

For information on things to do and places to stay, visit Discover Ireland.

Advice

Further Advice / Advisory Bodies

For further information on accessible transport in Ireland you can view the Department of Transport’s Plan for Accessible Transport Transport Access for All or contact one or more of the following organisations:

Contact

Comments

Hopefully you will have a trouble free time travelling to, from or within Ireland. If you do have any problems you should complain first of all to the transport operator. If you are not happy with the result of your complaint, you can contact the Office of the Ombudsman. Similarly, if you receive a good service, the transport operators\service providers would be delighted to hear about that also.

Contacting Us

If you would like to comment on this webpage, please write to the following address marking the envelope “Webpage for People with Mobility Difficulties” Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport 44 Kildare Street Dublin 2 Ireland

Other Contact Options:

Tel: Locall 0761 001 601 (within Ireland) or + 353 1 670 7444 (from outside of Ireland) Email: info@dttas.ie.