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Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

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Regulation 3

SCHEDULE 2GENERAL ACCESSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR SINGLE-DECK AND DOUBLE-DECK BUSES

Definitions

1.  In this Schedule–

“contrast” means a contrast in the amount of light which is reflected by the surfaces of the parts of a regulated public service vehicle or its equipment which is required by these Regulations to contrast;

“cushion” means that part of a seat on which a person using the seat sits, whether padded or not;

“deep” in relation to a step, means the distance from the outer edge of the nosing of the step tread to the riser of the step tread;

“doorway area” means that area which is within one metre of any entrance or exit measured horizontally from any point along the external edge of the door aperture;

“exit” means an exit from a regulated public service vehicle but does not include an exit which is provided for use only in case of emergency;

“external step” means the last step or platform from an entrance or an exit which leads directly from the vehicle to the ground;

“gangway” means the space provided for obtaining access from any entrance to the passengers' seats or from any such seat to an exit other than an emergency exit, but does not include a staircase or any space in front of a seat or row of seats which is required only for the use of passengers occupying the seat or row of seats;

km/h” means kilometre(s) per hour;

“kneeling system” means a system which enables the bodywork of a regulated public service vehicle to be lowered relative to its normal height of travel;

“mm” means millimetre(s);

“N” means newton(s);

“normal height of travel” means the height specified by the vehicle’s manufacturer for normal vehicle travel;

“priority entrance” means an entrance (not being an entrance fitted to the off-side of the vehicle) providing access to the priority floor area in accordance with paragraph 2(2)(b);

“priority exit” means an exit (not being an exit fitted to the off-side of the vehicle) providing access from the priority floor area in accordance with paragraph 2(2)(b);

“priority floor” area means a single continuous area of floor space comprising not less than 35% of the total floor area of a regulated public service vehicle;

“priority seat” means a seat designated as such in accordance with paragraph 3;

“seat” means a seat intended for use by passengers and, accordingly, does not include the driver’s seat or any other seat intended for use solely by a crew member; and

“total floor area” means the total floor area of a regulated public service vehicle, or in the case of a double-deck bus the total floor area of the vehicle’s lower deck, excluding the driver’s cab, wheelboxes, stepwells, internal staircases and any space designated for the storage of luggage.

Floor and gangways

2.—(1) All floors within the total floor area of a regulated public service vehicle shall be slip-resistant.

(2) A regulated public service vehicle shall contain a priority floor area which shall–

(a)not contain steps;

(b)provide access to at least one priority entrance to, and one priority exit from, the vehicle or access to steps which lead to such entrances and exits;

(c)contain all priority seats specified in paragraph 3; and

(d)have a slope of not more than 3° in any direction, or not more than 5° in any direction within the doorway area, when the vehicle is unladen standing on a level surface and in its normal condition of travel.

(3) Any gangway within the priority floor area of a regulated public service vehicle shall have a width of–

(a)not less than 450mm up to a height of 1400mm measured vertically from the floor of the vehicle; and

(b)not less than 550mm at heights exceeding 1400mm measured vertically from the floor of the vehicle.

Priority seats

3.—(1) A regulated public service vehicle shall have not less than 4 seats designated by signs complying with sub-paragraph (3) as priority seats for use by disabled persons.

(2) Any priority seat fitted to a regulated public service vehicle and designated in accordance with sub paragraph (1) shall comply with the following requirements–

(a)a priority seat shall not be a seat which is capable of being tipped, folded or otherwise moved;

(b)a priority seat shall face only the front or the rear of the vehicle;

(c)a priority seat shall not be a seat to which the provisions of paragraphs 3(2) and (3) or 4(5) and (6) of Schedule 1 apply;

(d)a priority seat shall be as close as practicable to a priority entrance;

(e)there shall be adequate space under or adjacent to at least one priority seat for the comfortable accommodation of a dog trained to assist a disabled person;

(f)any armrest fitted to a priority seat shall be moveable to the extent required to permit unrestricted access by a disabled person to that seat or to any other priority seat to which access may be gained past the seat;

(g)a cushion of a priority seat shall have a width of not less than 440mm measured at the widest point across the surface of the cushion, such distance being equally spaced either side of the centreline of the seating position;

(h)the toll surface of a cushion of a priority seat shall be at a height of not less than 400mm and not more than 500mm above the floor of the vehicle measured from the front edge of the seat and along an imaginary line passing vertically from the centreline of the seating position to the floor;

(i)where a priority seat faces the same direction as a seat situated directly in front of the priority seat–

(i)the distance between the front surface of the back of the priority seat and the back surface of the back of the seat in front (measured along an imaginary horizontal line passing along the top surface of the cushion of the priority seat and through the centreline of the seating position of the priority seat) shall not be less than 650mm, and

(ii)where the back of either seat is adjustable, this measurement shall be made with the seat or seats in the manufacturer’s nominal position for normal use;

(j)where a priority seat faces any other seat–

(i)the distance between the front surface of the back of the priority seat and the front surface of the back of the facing seat (measured along an imaginary horizontal line passing along the top surface of the cushion of the priority seat and through the centreline of the seating position of the priority seat) shall not be less than 1300mm, and

(ii)where the back of either seat is adjustable, this measurement shall be made with the seat or seats in the manufacturer’s nominal position for normal use;

(k)there shall be–

(i)not less than 1300mm of clear space above any point along the front edge of the top surface of a cushion of a priority seat measured vertically from the top surface of the cushion,

(ii)not less than 900mm of clear space above any point along the rear edge of the top surface of a cushion of a priority seat measured vertically from the top surface of the cushion, and

(iii)clear space between any point on the top surface of a cushion of a priority seat and an imaginary plane connecting the maximum height of clear space specified in (i) to the maximum height of clear space specified in (ii); and

(l)where a priority seat faces the same direction as a seat situated directly in front of the priority seat or if the priority seat faces a bulkhead or a partition, there shall be–

(i)above an imaginary horizontal plane passing along the top surface of a cushion of a priority seat and situated in front of the front edge of the cushion, a volume of clear space of not less than 230mm measured in the longitudinal plane of the priority seat, of not less than 420mm measured in the transverse plane of the priority seat (such distance being equally spaced either side of the centreline of the seating position) and of a height not less than the height of the back of the priority seat,

(ii)above an imaginary horizontal plane passing along the top surface of a cushion of a priority seat and situated in front of the front edge of the cushion, a volume of clear space of not less than 230mm measured in the longitudinal plane of the priority seat, of not less than 300mm measured in the transverse plane of the priority seat (such distance being equally spaced either side of the centreline of the seating position) and of a height not less than the height of the priority seat cushion, and

(iii)where a priority seat is situated facing a bulkhead or a partition which is more than 1200mm in height measured vertically from the floor of the vehicle, the distances measured in the longitudinal plane of the priority seat referred to in (i) and (ii) shall not be less than 300mm.

(3) There shall be a sign on or near a priority seat indicating that disabled persons have priority for the use of that seat.

(4) In sub-paragraph (2) the phrase “manufacturer’s nominal position for normal use” means the position of an adjustable seat which the manufacturer of the seat recommends, or has nominated, as being the normal position for using that seat.

Steps

4.—(1) Steps for use by passengers on a regulated public service vehicle shall (subject to sub-paragraph (6)) comply with the following requirements–

(a)the surface of each tread shall be covered in a slip-resistant material;

(b)step nosings shall be designed to minimise the risk of tripping;

(c)across the front edge of each tread there shall be a band of colour not less than 45mm and not more than 50mm in width, which shall contrast with the remainder of the tread;

(d)the rear of a step shall be closed by a vertical riser between the rear of the tread and either the front edge of the tread above or the floor of the vehicle above;

(e)any step, other than an external step or a step to a seat fitted to any part of a wheelarch or a step in (f), shall–

(i)not be less than 120mm and not more than 200mm in height, and

(ii)the surface of the tread shall not be less than 300mm deep and not less than 400mm wide;

(f)any steps between a gangway and a passenger seat or a row of passenger seats, other than a step to any seat fitted to any part of a wheelarch, shall not be more than 250mm in height; and

(g)in a flight of steps, the difference in height between any two steps shall not be more than 10mm.

(2) The height of a step in sub-paragraph (1) shall be measured vertically from the surface of the tread, and at the centre of the tread width, to an imaginary line extended horizontally from the surface of the next tread or floor of the vehicle.

(3) An external step, leading from not less than one priority entrance and to not less than one priority exit, shall–

(a)not be more than 250mm in height measured–

(i)from the surface of the tread of the external step to the ground,

(ii)if the vehicle is fitted with a kneeling system, with the regulated public service vehicle at its minimum height, and

(iii)at the centre of the tread width; and

(b)not be less than 300mm deep.

(4) A regulated public service vehicle shall not be fitted with a step which can project beyond the side of the vehicle adjacent to the step unless–

(a)the step is protected by parts of the vehicle or otherwise so that it is not liable to injure pedestrians; or

(b)the step can fold or retract so that it does not project beyond the side face of the vehicle and the vehicle is not capable in the normal course of being driven away unless the step is so folded or retracted.

(5) Where a regulated public service vehicle is fitted with a power-operated step, that step shall–

(a)not be capable of operation whilst the vehicle is in motion; and

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

(6) Sub-paragraphs (1)(d), (e) and (g) shall not apply to those steps in a double-deck bus which lead from the lower deck to the upper deck.

Handrails and handholds

5.—(1) A handrail shall (subject to sub-paragraph (2)) be fitted in the following positions in a regulated public service vehicle–

(a)along one or both sides of a gangway–

(i)from a position level with the top of the back of a seat extending to the ceiling of the vehicle, or to a height of not less than 1500mm measured vertically from the floor of the vehicle, at intervals of not more than 1050mm measured in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle, or

(ii)in areas where there are no seats adjacent to a gangway, from the floor or, where there is a wheel arch or similar structure, from the lowest height which is practicable to, in either case, the ceiling or to a height of not less than 1500mm measured vertically from the floor of the vehicle, at intervals of not more than 1050mm measured in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle, and

(iii)where the gangway is adjacent to the internal walls of the vehicle, horizontally along the internal wall of the vehicle and parallel to those walls at a height of not less than 1200mm and not more than 1500mm measured vertically from the floor of the vehicle;

(b)in any area where passengers may stand other than a gangway–

(i)where the area is adjacent to the internal walls of the vehicle, horizontally along the internal walls of the vehicle and parallel to those walls at a height of not less than 1200mm and not more than 1500mm measured vertically from the floor of the vehicle, and

(ii)in any other area, from the floor to the ceiling, or to a height of not less than 1500mm measured vertically from the floor of the vehicle, at intervals of not more than 1050mm measured in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle;

(c)from the doorway area immediately adjacent to a priority entrance to not less than one of the priority seats at a height of not less than 800mm and not more than 900mm measured vertically from the floor of the vehicle or, where it is not practical to comply with those requirements, the handrail need not be continuous provided any gap does not exceed 1050mm and a vertical handrail is provided on at least one side of the gap extending from a height of at least 1200mm to a height of not less than 1500mm measured vertically from the floor of the vehicle; and

(d)on both sides of the interior of an entrance or exit–

(i)in the case of any external step in the vehicle entrance which is fixed, not more than 400mm measured from the outer edge of the step nosing and at a height of not less than 800mm and not more than 1100mm measured vertically from the ground, with the vehicle at its minimum height if the vehicle is fitted with a kneeling system,

(ii)in the case of an external step in the vehicle entrance which is not fixed, on both sides of the interior of an entrance or exit not more than 100mm from the outer edge of the step nosing of the lowest fixed step in the vehicle entrance and at a height of not less than 800mm and not more than 1100mm measured as mentioned in (i), and

(iii)in the case of any other steps leading into a vehicle, for the position appropriate to a particular step, at not more than 600mm measured horizontally and inwards from the outer edge of the step nosing of the tread of a step or the floor of the vehicle and at a height of not less than 800mm and not more than 1100mm measured vertically from the surface of the tread of the step.

(2) Where–

(a)it is necessary to provide access to and into a wheelchair space; and

(b)it is not possible to comply with the requirements of sub-paragraph (1)(b) or (1)(c),

a horizontal handrail or, at intervals of not more than 300mm, a series of handholds shall be provided across the gap.

(3) Any handrail in a regulated public service vehicle that is fitted in order to comply with this paragraph shall comply with the following requirements–

(a)have a circular cross section with a diameter of not less than 30mm and not more than 35mm, or when fitted at either side of an entrance or exit, an oval cross section the maximum section of which is not more than 35mm and not less than 30mm, and the minimum section of which is not less than 20mm;

(b)not be less than 800mm or more than 1900mm above the floor of the vehicle;

(c)have a clear space of not less than 45mm between any part of the vehicle and all parts of a handrail other than its mountings;

(d)have a slip-resistant surface;

(e)be capable of being easily and firmly gripped by a passenger; and

(f)contrast with the parts of the vehicle adjacent to the handrail.

(4) Any handhold in a regulated public service vehicle that is fitted in order to comply with this paragraph shall comply with the following requirements–

(a)not be less than 800mm or more than 1900mm above the floor of the vehicle;

(b)have a clear space of not less than 45mm between any part of the vehicle and all parts of a handhold other than its mountings;

(c)have a loop shape, or some other form, designed to prevent a hand from slipping from the handhold;

(d)have a slip-resistant surface;

(e)be capable of being easily and firmly gripped by a passenger; and

(f)contrast with the parts of the vehicle adjacent to the handhold.

(5) A handhold may be placed within the space of a gangway provided–

(a)it is unlikely to cause injury; and

(b)it is easily moveable to the extent required to permit unrestricted access by a disabled person to a priority seat or to the gangway.

Communication devices

6.—(1) A communication device shall be fitted in the following positions in a regulated public service vehicle–

(a)within reach of each person seated in a priority seat;

(b)adjacent to not less than every third row of seats; and

(c)at a height of–

(i)not more than 1200mm if the communication device is for the use of seated passengers, or

(ii)not more than 1500mm if the communication device is for the use of other passengers,

measured vertically from the floor of the vehicle to the centre of the device.

(2) Any communication device shall comply with the following requirements–

(a)a communication device shall be operable by the palm of the hand;

(b)the surround of the communication device shall contrast with the device and with the surface on which the surround is mounted; and

(c)when operated, a communication device shall–

(i)provide a signal to the driver of the vehicle to stop the vehicle,

(ii)activate an audible signal which is audible in the passenger areas, and

(iii)activate at least one illuminated stopping sign on each deck of the vehicle or, in the case of an articulated vehicle, on each section of that vehicle, which is, or would be, within the field of vision of the passengers seated on a majority of the seats on that deck or in that section.

(3) An illuminated stopping sign–

(a)shall not use only capital letters; and

(b)shall display illuminated the word “stopping” or a word or words to that effect immediately a communication device is activated and until at least one of the exits is open.

Kneeling systems

7.—(1) Where a regulated public service vehicle is fitted with a kneeling system, the vehicle and system shall comply with the following requirements–

(a)a switch shall be required to be used to enable operation of the system;

(b)any control which initiates the lowering or raising of any part or the whole of the body relative to the road surface must be clearly identified and under the direct control of the driver of the vehicle;

(c)the lowering process shall be capable of being stopped and immediately reversed by a control which is both–

(i)within reach of the driver whilst seated in the cab, and

(ii)adjacent to any controls provided for the operation of the kneeling system; and

(d)the kneeling system shall not–

(i)allow the vehicle to be driven at a speed of more than 5km/h where the vehicle is lower than the normal height of travel, or

(ii)allow the vehicle to be lowered when the operation of an entrance or exit door (other than an emergency door) is prevented for any reason.

(2) In this paragraph “emergency door” means an external door which is generally intended for use only in an emergency.

Route and destination displays

8.—(1) A regulated public service vehicle shall be fitted with a route number display and a destination display in the following positions–

(a)on the front of the vehicle, as close as practicable to that part of the windscreen which is within the driver’s field of vision; and

(b)on the nearside of the vehicle adjacent to the entrance which is closest to the front of the vehicle at a height of not less than 1.2m to the lower edge of the display characters and not more than 2.5m to the upper edge of the display characters measured from the ground and, if fitted with a kneeling system, with the vehicle in the normal condition for vehicle travel.

(2) A regulated public service vehicle shall be fitted with a route number display on the rear of the vehicle.

(3) Any route number display shall be capable of displaying–

(a)characters of not less than 200mm in height on the front and rear of the vehicle and not less than 70mm in height on the side of the vehicle;

(b)characters that contrast with the display background;

(c)characters that are provided with a means of illumination; and

(d)not less than three characters.

(4) Any destination display shall be capable of displaying–

(a)characters of not less than 125mm in height when fitted to the front of a vehicle and not less than 70mm in height when fitted to the side of a vehicle;

(b)characters that contrast with the display background;

(c)characters that are provided with a means of illumination; and

(d)not less than fifteen characters.

(5) Destination information shall not be written in capital letters only.

(6) In this paragraph–

“character” means capital letters or numbers of a specified height and lower case letters of a size relative to the text of a capital letter for a given typeface;

“destination” means a word or words to describe the route or final destination; and

“route number” means any combination of numbers or letters which designate a bus route.

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