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Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

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Boarding lifts and ramps

5.—(1) A regulated public service vehicle shall be fitted with not less than one boarding lift or one boarding ramp, or shall carry not less than one portable ramp.

(2) Any boarding lift or boarding ramp fitted in accordance with sub-paragraph (1) shall–

(a)have a safe working load of not less than 300kg;

(b)when subject to a uniformly distributed mass equal to 125 per cent of the safe working load for a period of not less than 10 seconds, not suffer any permanent deformation or damage when the load is removed;

(c)have its maximum safe working load marked in a position which is clearly visible to the operator of the lift or ramp; and

(d)not allow the vehicle in the normal course to be driven away unless the lift or ramp is at its normal position of vehicle travel.

(3) Any boarding ramp fitted to a regulated public service vehicle shall (subject to (d) below) comply with the following requirements–

(a)a boarding ramp shall have a surface of not less than 800mm in width;

(b)no part of the surface in sub-paragraph (3)(a), and no part of the vehicle, shall present an obstruction greater than 15mm in height measured along a plane parallel to, and above, the surface of the ramp, and in the direction of travel of a reference wheelchair when moved into or from the vehicle;

(c)with the vehicle on a flat surface, in the normal condition for a wheelchair user to board or alight, and with the boarding ramp extended and sitting on a kerb of 125mm in height measured vertically from and parallel to the ground, the surface of a boarding ramp shall have a slope measured over the surface referred to in sub-paragraph (3)(a) of not more than 8° measured relative to the ground;

(d)notwithstanding (c) above, a boarding ramp may have–

(i)at the intersection of the surface of the kerb and the surface of the ramp described above, a slope not exceeding 15° relative to the ground over a distance of not more than 150mm (measured along the surface of the ramp and parallel to the direction of travel of a reference wheelchair when it is moved from the kerb and onto the ramp surface), and

(ii)at any other point a slope not exceeding 15° relative to the ground over a distance of not more than 150mm (measured along the surface of the ramp and parallel to the direction of travel of a reference wheelchair when it is moved into the vehicle) and rising to a height of not more than 15mm (measured above and parallel to the surface of the ramp or its sections);

(e)with the vehicle on a flat surface and in the normal condition for a wheelchair user to board or alight, the boarding ramp shall be capable of being extended to and of sitting on that surface and in this position the surface of a boarding ramp shall have a slope of not more than 20° measured over the surface referred to in sub-paragraph (3)(a);

(f)a boarding ramp shall be free of sharp edges or other protrusions capable of causing injury; and

(g)around and abutting each of the edges of a boarding ramp there shall be a band of colour of not less than 50mm in width which shall contrast with the remainder of the ramp surface.

(4) Any boarding lift fitted to a regulated public service vehicle shall comply with the following requirements–

(a)a boarding lift platform shall be not less than 750mm in width and not less than 1200mm in length (excluding the device specified in (b));

(b)unless a boarding lift platform is in the lowered position and resting on a surface from which a wheelchair user will board, the following shall apply–

(i)along any side of the lift platform from which a wheelchair user will move on to, or move from, the lift platform, a device of a height not less than 100mm measured vertically above the surface of the lift platform shall operate automatically as the lift is raised above the lowered position, except that when in the raised position for a wheelchair user to move from the lift platform to the floor of the vehicle, the device shall permit unobstructed access to the floor of the vehicle,

(ii)along any other side, there shall be a device or structure of a height not less than 25mm measured vertically above the surface of the lift platform, and

(iii)part of the vehicle structure may fulfil the requirements in (i) or (ii) throughout the operating range of the lift provided that any gaps in the structure are unlikely to cause injury while the lift is in motion;

(c)the vertical operating speed of a boarding lift platform shall not exceed 0.15m/s;

(d)with the vehicle on a flat surface and in the normal condition for a wheelchair user to board or alight, the lift shall be capable of being lowered to and of sitting on that surface;

(e)where the vertical travel of the lift platform exceeds 500mm, at least one side of the lift platform shall be fitted with a handrail where–

(i)in the case of a handrail fitted to the lift platform, a secure horizontal handrail shall be provided at a height of not less than 650mm or more than 1100mm measured vertically from the surface of the lift platform, or

(ii)in the case of a handrail that does not move with the lift platform, a vertical handrail shall provide a grasping point at the same heights above the lift platform throughout the range of the vertical travel; and

(f)around and abutting each of the edges of a boarding lift there shall be a band of colour of not less than 50mm in width which shall contrast with the remainder of the lift surface.

(5) Any power-operated boarding lift or power-operated boarding ramp fitted to a regulated public service vehicle shall (subject to sub-paragraphs (6) to (9))–

(a)be capable of operation–

(i)by means of a control situated in the driver’s cab, or

(ii)by means of a control situated adjacent to the lift or ramp which shall only be capable of operation by means of a master control situated in the driver’s cab;

(b)produce an audible signal when in operation;

(c)be capable of being manually operated, or where the vehicle is fitted with more than one lift or ramp, not less than one lift or ramp capable of being manually operated shall be accessible to each wheelchair user;

(d)not be capable of operation when the vehicle is in motion;

(e)be fitted with a safety device which stops the movement of the ramp if the ramp is subject to a reactive force not exceeding 150N in any direction and if that motion could cause injury to a passenger; and

(f)be fitted with sensors capable of stopping the movement of the lift platform if it comes into contact with any thing or person whilst it is in motion and, once stopped, the lift platform must be capable of being reversed.

(6) Sub-paragraph (5)(f) shall not apply to a power-operated boarding lift which can only be operated by a control fitted in accordance with sub-paragraph (5)(a)(ii).

(7) As an alternative to the requirement in sub-paragraph (5)(c), a regulated public service vehicle may carry a portable ramp.

(8) This sub-paragraph applies where–

(a)a power operated boarding lift is fitted to a regulated public service vehicle; and

(b)there are areas of that lift which are not visible to a person operating the lift.

(9) Where sub-paragraph (8) applies–

(a)the lift shall be fitted with a stop control which is within easy reach of any user of the lift and which is operable with the palm of the hand; and

(b)where the stop control is activated, the lift, once stopped, shall be capable of being reversed.

(10) Where a portable ramp is carried in a regulated public service vehicle the ramp shall–

(a)not easily be moved when it is in the normal position for a wheelchair user to board or alight from the vehicle and it is being so used;

(b)be provided with a stowage position in a position where it is readily available for use;

(c)be capable of being securely stowed in the stowing position so as to minimise the risk of injury to the passengers, the driver and any other crew members; and

(d)comply with the requirements in sub-paragraph (2)(a), (b) and (c) and (3) as if references to “boarding ramp” were references to “portable ramp”.

(11) In this paragraph “master control” means a control which enables another control to activate the relevant system, but which is not itself alone capable of activating that system.

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