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Accessibility Guide

Translink is the main provider of public transport in Northern Ireland. We are dedicated to providing co-ordinated bus and rail services that are easy to use, reliable and comfortable. We are also committed to making sure that are services are safe and accessible to everyone. Our services include:

Metro and Glider – bus services that run in and around Belfast

Ulsterbus – buses that run in and between other towns and villages across Northern Ireland as well as services to and from Belfast

Goldline – an express coach service that runs between towns and cities including a number of cross-border services

NIRailways – Rail services operate between Belfast and;

  • Bangor

  • Dublin

  • Larne

  • Londonderry

  • Newry

  • Coleraine

  • Portrush

  • Halts between these locations

 

About this Guide

This Guide sets out our current service levels for disabled people, older people and others who may find using public transport difficult. It contains information and advice about our services and details to help you plan your journey. Translink have also published an Access Policy setting out our commitment to making services accessible. This guide is available in other formats are available by calling our Contact Centre on 028 90 66 66 30.

 

Getting Information

If you would like information about any our services or would like to enquire about assistance available, phone our Contact Centre on 028 90 66 66 30. The Contact Centre is open every day from 7am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day). If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can contact us using the Text Relay service. If you are using a textphone you should dial 18001 followed by the full phone number. If you require assistance to travel on our services we ask that you call our contact centre at least 24 hours before you travel. Information about all our services including timetables is also available online at www.translink.co.uk/timetables. Printed timetables and other information about our services are available at our bus and train stations. If you require any of our information, including timetables, in other formats (such as large print, Braille or in audio) we will provide this. Please call the Contact Centre.

 

Our Services

Over the past decade we have introduced buses and trains that meet modern accessibility standards. We have also made improvements to the accessibility of our stations.

 

Bus services

Most of our buses are now accessible. Accessible buses have the following features:

  • Low-floor with kneeling facility and ramped access;

  • Non-slip surfaces on floors;

  • Colour contrasting materials inside and out;

  • Highly visible route information on the front, side and rear;

  • Good handrail provision inside the bus;

  • Frequent and accessible bell push buttons on-board;

  • A dedicated space for one wheelchair user; and

  • Five other priority seats for the use of disabled passengers.

All Metro services and some Ulsterbus services use accessible vehicles. Other Ulsterbus and Goldline services operate using a mix of vehicles some of which have steps and not all of the accessibility features listed above.

Our timetables indicate which routes use accessible buses using a wheelchair user symbol and the message “operated by low-floor vehicles”. If you require an accessible bus for other routes you should contact us at least 24 hours before you wish to travel so we can make arrangements.

 

Rail services

Most of our trains meet current accessibility standards. Features include:

  • Dedicated space on-board for two wheelchair users;

  • Priority seating for other disabled passengers;

  • A ramp stored on board to assist with access;

  • On board audio and visual announcements;

  • An accessible toilet;

  • Colour contrasting inside and out;

  • Good handrail provision within carriages; and

  • Button activated automatic doors.

Our cross border services between Belfast and Dublin do not have all these features but do have two dedicated spaces for wheelchair users, an accessible toilet and audio and visual announcements.

 

Our stations

We have improved access to most of our main bus and train stations. These stations have the following features:

  • Step free access around the station

  • Easy access around all facilities fowheelchair users

  • Staff available to provide assistance

  • Accessible ticket offices with low-level counters

  • Well-designed timetable information

  •  A hearing loop system

  • Sheltered waiting facilities and seating

  • Accessible information boards

  • Audio announcements (rail only)

  • Accessible toilets

  • Accessible parking

  • Tactile surfaces including edging on platforms

Many of our smaller stations and rail halts are not staffed and do not have all the features listed above. We advise that anyone wishing to use stations that may require assistance to call our Contact Centre 24 hours before you wish to travel. All our accessible toilets are fitted with locks under the Radar Key Scheme. You can obtain your own key for these toilets by contacting Radar on 020 7250 3222 or emailing radar@radar.org.uk.

Up-to-date details of facilities at all our stations and halts are available online at www.translink.co.uk/accessibility or in other formats through our Contact Centre.

 

Support and Assistance

Translink is committed to providing reasonable support and assistance to disabled passengers to help you use our services. We are committed to training our staff to be aware of disabled passengers and to offer the appropriate assistance if needed.

 

General assistance

  • Where our stations are staffed we can provide assistance to help you get to your bus or train or to move between transport such as changing trains

  • Our staff will carry a pen and notepad to help with communication

  • Translink welcomes guide dogs and other recognised assistance animals on all our services and to our stations

 

On our buses

  • Our drivers have been trained to stop the bus at a stop if there is passenger waiting who may have difficulty identifying the service for example a passenger with a Guide Dog.

  • Our drivers will lower the bus and deploy the ramp or use the lift to help you to access the bus

  • Our drivers will clear any obstructions in your way to help you access the bus including anything in the wheelchair users space

  • Our drivers will ask passengers occupying priority seats (including the wheelchair users space) to move if they do not need to use them 

  • Our drivers will fit your wheelchair with restraints if these are required

  • Our drivers will keep the bus still until you are safely in your seat – please try to take the nearest available seat

  • Our drivers will announce the arrival at your stop if you ask for this

On our trains

  • Our conductors will deploy the ramp and provide assistance to get on and off the train

  • Our conductors will ask passengers occupying priority seats (including the wheelchair users space) to move if they do not need to use them

 

Booking assistance

We ask that you call our Contact Centre 24 hours before you travel if:

  • You require assistance from one of our staffed stations

  • You are travelling from an unstaffed station/halt and need assistance

  • You want to travel on a service not advertised as accessible

We recognise that there are times when you may have to travel at short notice and you will not always be able to let us know you need assistance beforehand. In these cases we will do everything we can to assist.

 

Advice for scooter/ wheelchair users

Many of our services are accessible to wheelchair users. However restrictions do still apply. This is because of limited space provided in the design of new buses and trains and because not all our buses are accessible.

 

Rail Services

  • All of our trains are accessible to wheelchair users If your wheelchair is up to 750mm wide, 1250mm long and 1350mm high you should be able to use our accessible trains easily

  • We can also carry most type 1 and 2 mobility scooters on our trains but cannot accommodate type 3 scooters. Passengers who wish to travel with a mobility scooter must first obtain an approval sticker. Contact 028 9066 6630 to arrange to have your scooter inspected at a suitable station before your travel date.

  • Mobility scooters must be parked in a designated space in the carriage and passengers are encouraged to dismount (where feasible), and sit in a seat during the journey. Scooters must not be parked in the vestibule at any time

  • If you are planning to travel from an unstaffed halt it is best to call our Contact Centre 24 hours before you travel to check if the halt is accessible.

  • Wheelchair and scooter users wishing to travel on the Belfast to Dublin Enterprise service should reserve a place through our Contact Centre 24 hours before travel

 

Buses

  • Most of our buses and coaches are accessible to wheelchair users

  • However due to limited room on-board there are limits on the size of wheelchairs that can be accommodated

  • If your wheelchair is up to 700mm wide, 1200mm long and 1350mm high you should be able to use our accessible buses easily

  • If our service is not advertised as accessible, wheelchair users should call our Contact Centre 24 hours before travel so we can arrange for an accessible vehicle to be used.

Translink is not required by law to carry mobility scooters on buses or trains but we recognise many smaller scooters can be accommodated on our services. Larger scooters, however, cannot access buses and trains. We have developed a scheme to help passengers find out if their scooter is suitable for public transport. Please call our Contact Centre for more information. Shopmobility Belfast can provide passengers arriving at Great Victoria Street and Central railway stations and the Europa Buscentre with the loan of a scooter. This service must be booked in advance by contacting Shopmobility Belfast on 028 9080 8090.

 

Tickets and fares

Concessionary travel

Many disabled people are entitled to free or half-fare travel on buses and trains through the Northern Ireland Concessionary Fares Scheme.

You are entitled to free travel if:

  • You are 60 or over

  • You are registered as blind

  • You receive a war disablement pension

You are entitled to half-fare travel if:

  • You are in receipt of high or low rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance

  • You are registered as partially sighted

  • You have a learning disability and are known to your Health Trust

  • You have been refused a driving licence on medical grounds

Application forms for the passes are available at our stations or by calling our Contact Centre.

Details about our fares and other ticketing options are available from www.translink.co.uk or through our Contact Centre.

 

Your comments

We welcome your comments about any part of our service including when things go wrong. You can do this by contacting a member of staff at your local station.

Alternatively you can contact us in one of the following ways:

  • By phone on 028 90 66 66 30 (Textphone users dial 18001 first)

  • By email at feedback@translink.co.uk

  • In writing to: Customer Services, Translink, Central Station, Belfast BT1 3PB

We will normally respond to you in writing but please ask us if you would like us to reply in another way.