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Public Transport - Transport Programme for People with Disabilities

Introduction

The Transport Programme for People with Disabilities (TPPD) has been in existence since 1991 and has complemented and augmented improvements in accessible transport by developing a range of specialised transport services for disabled persons in conjunction with a number of service operators.

Background

The legislative basis for the Department's support of initiatives towards disabled people was established in 1990 by an amendment to the Transport Act (Northern Ireland) 1967. This is known as Section 75A. The Programme has evolved over the years, utilising Section 75A to supplement and enhance the efforts of mainstream operators in improving accessibility to their public transport services.

Aims of the Programme

The aims of the Programme are

  • To target social need by improving accessibility of public transport to people with disabilities who cannot avail of existing conventional services in Northern Ireland; and
  • To complement the work of existing service providers involved in programmes designed to promote social inclusion for people with reduced mobility.

To achieve this, the Programme supports a number of services, in areas that contain a disproportionately high number of people who are mobility impaired and who could sustain a sufficient demand to visit key destinations and utilise these services.

Current Policy

The Programme currently funds a number of activities listed below:

Door-to-Door Transport

The Door-2-Door Transport scheme ceased on 31 March 2013.

Disability Action Transport Scheme (DATS) now provides an 'interim' specialised transport service for people living in towns or cities who find it difficult to use public transport. Contact Disability Action to find out more about their scheme:

Public Transport

Revenue support is provided to Translink's Easibus services, through the Programme. These services, of which there are 10 in total, operate in Belfast. The services provide accessible local bus services mainly, but not exclusively, for mobility-impaired people who cannot avail of existing conventional services. Customers are drawn from those who reside along the specified routes.

Shopmobility

The Programme currently provides financial support for Shopmobility schemes in Ballymena, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Cookstown, Enniskillen, Lisburn, Derry/Londonderry (known as Foyle), Magherafelt, Newry and Omagh. These schemes lend manual and powered wheelchairs and powered scooters to members of the public with limited mobility to shop and use leisure and commercial facilities. Shopmobility schemes can be seen as the final link in the accessible transport chain.

The Department has now published a guidance document, called "How to Prepare and Apply for Funding for a Shopmobility Scheme". If you currently operate a Shopmobility scheme and already receive funding from the Department, or if you do not currently receive funding from the Department but think you would be eligible to do so, or if you are simply thinking about starting up such a scheme, please contact the Department or complete the application form in the guidance document available on-line via the link below.

The Department also funds an umbrella group for Shopmobility in Northern Ireland. The aim of this group (known as Shopmobility (NI)), is to encourage and support existing and new schemes, through networking, information, training and exchanging news and views. Anyone wishing to have more information on the umbrella group or Shopmobility in general should contact:

the Department or Terry Butler
c/o Shopmobility Belfast
Westgate House
2 Queen Street
Belfast
BT1 6ED
telephone: 028 9080 8090
fax: 028 9080 8099

Advice and Support

The Programme funds the work of the Inclusive Mobility and Transport Advisory Committee (Imtac). Imtac advises Government on issues relating to disabled and older people and the transport system. For further information on Imtac, contact:

the Department or Michael Lorimer
Imtac
Enterprise House
55-59 Adelaide Street
Belfast
BT2 8FE
telephone: 028 9072 6020
textphone: 028 9072 6016

Further Information

You can get further information about transport for people with disabilities on the Motoring and Transport section of the NI Direct website.