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Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

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Forward-facing wheelchairs

3.—(1) Any wheelchair space fitted to a regulated public service vehicle shall comply with the following requirements–

(a)a wheelchair space shall not be less than–

(i)1300mmmeasured in the longitudinal plane of the vehicle,

(ii)750mm measured in the transverse plane of the vehicle, and

(iii)1500mm measured vertically from any part of the floor of the wheelchair space;

(b)a wheelchair space shall allow the carriage of a wheelchair and a wheelchair user facing the front of the vehicle;

(c)a wheelchair space shall be fitted with a wheelchair restraint system suitable for general wheelchair application;

(d)a wheelchair space shall be fitted with a wheelchair user restraint system which shall comprise a minimum of two anchorage points and a pelvic restraint (lap belt) designed and constructed of components intended to perform in a similar manner to those of a seat belt conforming to the 1977 Directive;

(e)any wheelchair user restraint or wheelchair restraint system fitted to a wheelchair space shall be capable of being easily released in the case of an emergency;

(f)any wheelchair restraint system shall either–

(i)meet the dynamic test requirements described in sub-paragraph (7) and be securely attached to vehicle anchorages meeting the static test requirements in sub-paragraph (5), or

(ii)be securely attached to vehicle anchorages such that the combination of restraint and anchorages meets the requirements of sub-paragraph (7) when the anchorages comply with sub-paragraph (7)(d)(ii); and

(g)any wheelchair user restraint shall either–

(i)meet the test requirements described in sub-paragraph (8) and be securely attached to vehicle anchorages meeting the static test requirements in sub-paragraph (5), or

(ii)be securely attached to vehicle anchorages such that the combination of restraint and anchorages meets the test requirements described in sub-paragraph (8) when fitted to a representative section of the vehicle structure as described in sub-paragraph (5)(g).

(2) One or more seats which are capable of being tipped, folded or otherwise moved may lie within the volume specified in sub-paragraph (1)(a) or within the gangway specified in paragraph 7 provided that the seat is capable of being easily moved out of the volume or out of the gangway. In the case of a single-deck or double-deck coach, this may include a seat which may be quickly dismantled or removed provided that the seat can be safely stowed.

(3) The clear space in front of any seat may lie within the volume specified in sub-paragraph (1)(a) or within the gangway specified in paragraph 7.

(4) There shall be a sign on or near a seat specified in sub-paragraphs (2) and (3) stating the following “Please give up this seat for a wheelchair user” or stating words of equivalent meaning.

(5) A static test shall be carried out on the anchorage points for both the wheelchair restraint system and the wheelchair user restraint in accordance with the following requirements–

(a)the forces specified in sub-paragraph (6) shall be applied by means of a device reproducing the geometry of the wheelchair restraint system;

(b)the forces specified in sub-paragraph (6) shall be applied by means of a device reproducing the geometry of the wheelchair user restraint and by means of a traction device specified in paragraph 5.3.4 of Annex 1 of the 1976 Directive;

(c)the forces in (a) and (b) above shall be applied simultaneously in the forward direction and at an angle of 10° ± 5° above the horizontal plane;

(d)the forces in (a) above shall be applied in the rearward direction and at an angle of 10° ± 5° above the horizontal plane;

(e)the forces shall be applied as rapidly as possible through the central vertical axis of the wheelchair space;

(f)the force shall be maintained for a period of not less than 0.2 seconds; and

(g)the test shall be carried out on a representative section of the vehicle structure together with any fitting provided in the vehicle which is likely to contribute to the strength or rigidity of the structure.

(6) The forces referred to in sub-paragraph (5) are–

(a)in the case of anchorages provided for a wheelchair restraint system fitted to a Category M2 vehicle–

(i)11100N applied in the longitudinal plane of the vehicle and towards the front of the vehicle at a height of not less than 200mm and not more than 300mm measured vertically from the floor of the wheelchair space, and

(ii)5500N applied in the longitudinal plane of the vehicle and towards the rear of the vehicle at a height of not less than 200mm and not more than 300mm measured vertically from the floor of the wheelchair space;

(b)in the case of anchorages provided for a wheelchair restraint system fitted to a Category M3 vehicle–

(i)7400N applied in the longitudinal plane of the vehicle and towards the front of the vehicle at a height of not less than 200mm and not more than 300mm measured vertically from the floor of the wheelchair space, and

(ii)3700N applied in the longitudinal plane of the vehicle and towards the rear of the vehicle at a height of not less than 200mm and not more than 300mm measured vertically from the floor of the wheelchair space;

(c)in the case of anchorages provided for a wheelchair user restraint system, the forces shall be in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 5.4 of Annex 1 of the 1976 Directive;

  • References to M2 and M3 vehicles are references to vehicles of those categories as defined in Annex II(A) to the 1970 Directive.

(7) A wheelchair restraint system shall be subject to a dynamic test carried out in accordance with the following requirements–

(a)a representative wheelchair test trolley of mass 85kg shall, from a speed of between 48km/h to 50km/h to rest, be subject to a deceleration-time pulse in the forward direction which–

(i)exceeds 20g for a cumulative period of at least 0.015 seconds,

(ii)exceeds 15g for a cumulative period of at least 0.04 seconds,

(iii)is for an overall duration of at least 0.075 seconds and not more than 0. 12 seconds,

(iv)shall not, for a duration of more than 0.08 seconds, be at 28g, and

(v)shall not exceed 28g;

(b)except as provided in (c) below, a representative wheelchair test trolley of mass 85kg shall, from a speed of between 48km/h to 50km/h to rest, be subject to a deceleration-time pulse in the rearward direction which–

(i)exceeds 5g for a cumulative period of at least 0.015 seconds,

(ii)shall not, for a duration of more than 0.02 seconds, be at 8g, and

(iii)shall not exceed 8g;

(c)the test in (b) shall not apply if the same restraints and direction of loading are used for the forward and rearward direction or if an equivalent test has been conducted;

(d)for the above tests the wheelchair restraint system shall be attached to either–

(i)anchorages fixed to the test rig which represents the geometry of the anchorages in a vehicle for which the restraint system is intended, or

(ii)anchorages forming part of a representative section of the vehicle for which the restraint system is intended, set up as described in sub-paragraph (5)(g).

(8) A wheelchair occupant restraint shall comply with the test requirements specified in paragraph 2.7.8.4 of Annex 1 of the 1977 Directive or an equivalent test to the deceleration-time pulse in paragraph (7)(a). A seat belt which has been type approved in accordance with the 1977 Directive, and so marked, shall be deemed to comply.

(9) A test in sub-paragraphs (5), (7) or (8) shall fail unless the following requirements are met–

(a)no part of the system shall have failed, or shall have become detached from its anchorage or from the vehicle during the test;

(b)mechanisms to release the wheelchair and user shall be capable of release after completion of the test;

(c)in the case of the test specified in sub-paragraph (7), the wheelchair shall not move more than 200mm in the longitudinal plane of the vehicle during the test; and

(d)no part of the system shall be deformed to such an extent after completion of the test that, because of sharp edges or other protrusions, the part is capable of causing injury.

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