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Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

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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.

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