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Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

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Regulation 3

SCHEDULE 3GENERAL ACCESSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR SINGLE-DECK AND DOUBLE-DECK COACHES

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 are 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;

“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; and

“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.

Floors and gangways

2.—(1) All floors within a regulated public service vehicle shall be slip-resistant.

(2) Any gangway within a regulated public service vehicle shall have a slope of not more than 5° in any direction, when the vehicle is unladen standing on a level surface and in its normal condition of travel.

Seats

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

(a)the top surface of a cushion of a 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;

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

(c)where a seat (referred to in this sub-paragraph as “the first seat”) faces the same direction as another seat situated directly in front of the first seat–

(i)the distance between the front surface of the back of the first 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 first seat and through the centreline of the seating position of the first 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;

(d)where a seat faces a bulkhead or a partition–

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

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

(e)where a seat (referred to in this sub-paragraph as “the first seat”) faces either the front or the rear of the vehicle and where the seat also faces any other seat–

(i)the distance between the front surface of the back of the first 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 first seat and through the centreline of the seating position of the first seat) shall not be less than 1300mm, and

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

(2) In this paragraph, “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 the seat.

Steps

4.—(1) Steps for use by passengers on a regulated public service vehicle shall, except as provided in sub-paragraph (4), 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)any steps, other than an external step, in any part of a gangway or staircase between every passenger seat and an entrance or exit complying with sub-paragraph (5) shall–

(i)not be less than 120mm and not more than 225mm, in height, and

(ii)the surface of a tread shall not be less than 250mm deep;

(e)any steps between a gangway and a passenger seat or a row of passenger seats shall not be more than 250mm in height; and

(f)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) Where one flight of steps connects with another, there shall be an area of floor at the point where the two flights connect, on which it is possible to inscribe a circle of a diameter of not less than 450mm.

(4) Where–

(a)a regulated public service vehicle is a double-deck coach; and

(b)that vehicle has, for the use of passengers, more than one means of access from the lower deck to the upper deck,

the requirements of sub-paragraphs (1)(d) and (3) shall only apply to one of those means of access if that means of access can be used for both access to and from the upper deck and it provides access to an entrance and exit which complies with sub-paragraph (5). In this sub-paragraph “means of access from the lower deck to the upper deck” means a flight of steps, or two or more connecting flights of steps, which lead from the lower deck to the upper deck of a double-deck coach.

(5) An external step leading from not less than one entrance and to not less than one exit, not being an entrance or exit on the off-side of the vehicle shall–

(a)not be more than 320mm 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 250mm deep.

(6) 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.

(7) 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.

Handrails

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

(a)on both sides of the interior of an entrance or exit (not being an entrance or exit on the off-side of the vehicle):

(i)not more than 100mm inwards (measured from the outer edge of the step nosing of any fixed external step leading into a vehicle entrance, or, if that step is not a fixed step, from the outer edge of the lowest fixed step in that entrance) 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, and

(ii)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; and

(b)in any gangway, above each step for use by passengers–

(i)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

(ii)above this point 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 it is not practicable to comply with the requirements of sub-paragraph (1)(a) on both sides of an entrance, a vehicle may, as an alternative to such requirements as they apply to one side of that entrance, be fitted with a vertical handrail in the following location–

(a)not more than 100mm measured inwards from the outer edge of the step nosing of any external step or, if an external step is not a fixed step, of the lowest fixed step in the vehicle entrance; and

(b)extending vertically from a height of not more than 800mm to a height of not less than 2000mm or, where this is not practicable due to the vehicle structure or ceiling, to the highest height that can be achieved, measured vertically from the ground with the vehicle at its minimum height if the vehicle is fitted with a kneeling system.

(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)with the exclusion of a handrail fitted in accordance with sub-paragraph (2), be not 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.

Kneeling systems

6.—(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;

(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

7.—(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 the part of the windscreen which is within the driver’s field of vision; and

(b)on the near-side of the vehicle adjacent to the entrance which is closest to the front of the vehicle at a height of not less than 1.2 metres to the lower edge of the display characters and not more than 2.5 metres 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 that 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 coach route.

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