Thursday Truths: Booking Disabled Space Online With Translink

After trying to book an accessible bus from Omagh to Dublin last week on the newly revamped Translink NI website and discovering it wasn’t possible, I found this to be an glaring oversight by the company at best.

I spoke to Aaron McKane of Transport For All about this. With us both being new members of The Inclusive Mobility and Transport Advisory Committee (IMTAC), we wrote an open email to Translink NI to highlight our concerns at this omission.

Dear Translink

As a disabled user of your service, I always have to contact your HQ in Belfast to pre-book a wheelchair friendly bus to be placed on the route I want to use 24 hours in advance, or 2 weeks if I want to go to Belfast.

I had heard recently that Translink had recently revamped their website and bookings and payment could be made online. I thought this would be great for me as a disabled person.

I was concerned to see that amongst this revamped, provision for wheelchair space on a bus has not been included as part of the new look website.

On Twitter, @translink_ni sent me:

Hi, at present the procedure is, requests go through our Contact Centre & the operating depot is contacted so they can make sure that a wheelchair space is available & to stop multiple bookings for one bus. In the future this may change but I can’t guarantee it. ^PR

— Translink (@Translink_NI) July 27, 2019

I want to know why it is possible to make sure that multiple bookings for non-wheelchairs can be placed on the website, but not for wheelchair users? This would make it a lot easier for us to organise bus journeys, since not all buses are accessible for us yet.

It has been highlighted to me that the website has a lot of errors when using WAVE (web accessibility evaluation tool) plug-in, which means the basic site may not need the needs for disabled visitors. I can get you a full report on this, at a later date.

Signed

Dermot Devlin                                                        Aaron McKane
My Way Access                                                    Transport For All

 

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