Accessibility regs may apply to rail replacement services

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Regular rail replacement is likely to require accessible vehicles. GARETH EVANS

The Department for Transport (DfT) has clarified the accessibility regulations for rail replacement bus services.

In a statement responding to a Freedom of Information request, a DfT spokesperson said: “As you are probably aware, Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) require facilities such as low-floor boarding devices, handholds and handrails, priority seats and provision for passengers in wheelchairs. PSVAR has prompted a step-change in the accessibility of bus services, with nearly 100% of vehicles now accessible to many disabled people.

“In order to constitute a ‘scheduled service’ to which PSVAR applies, it is our view that a rail replacement service must be a service (a) along a specified route, (b) at specified times and (c) with passengers being taken up and set down at pre-determined stopping points. All three of those criteria must be satisfied in order for the service to be subject to PSVAR.”