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Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

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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.

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