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Disabled Code of Practice

Discover all you need to know about our code of practice for disabled travellers

Discover all you need to know about our code of practice for disabled travellers, and how we can make your Dublin Express experience better.

We are committed to continually improving the service we provide. We will always listen to customer feedback to make sure we get things right. We monitor the processes we have in place and amend them as necessary to maintain high levels of service for our disabled customers.

We are committed to ensuring that all customers are treated with respect by our staff. Our staff are trained to deliver great customer service which includes a commitment to equality. We also provide disability awareness training for our staff who deal directly with the travelling public or issues relating to the travelling public.

Our aims are to always deliver an outstanding service to every customer.

We also give advice and guidance to our customer services staff and drivers on how they can best serve our disabled customers.


Who does the Code of Practice apply to?

Our code applies to all disabled customers and those with reduced mobility. We recognise that disabilities are not always visible. If you let us know your requirements we will aim to help wherever we can.

1. Arranging assistance

Our Assisted Travel Team:

Our dedicated Assisted Travel Team will offer travel support by providing journey and booking information and, subject to availability, reserve you a seat near the front of the coach or accommodate any other reasonable accommodations by providing special treatment or facilities, if without such special treatment or facilities it would be impossible or unduly difficult for you to travel. They can also agree the level of assistance required at each stage of your journey and advise you on what kind of assistance can be provided.

You can contact our Assisted Travel Team using the contact details provided at the end of this Code of Practice to discuss any assistance needs. Simply explain the assistance you need and once our advisor has assessed the details, they will give you all the information you will need for your journey.

Please make sure you give us as much information as possible before you travel as this will help us deliver the right service on the day.

Booking Assistance

If you need any assistance along the way:

  • we recommend you let us know what you require by contacting our Assisted Travel Team at least 36 hours before you intend to travel with us (wherever possible). We can then discuss the assistance needs you have.

  • The more information you can provide and the further in advance we can discuss it with you, the better prepared we will be to meet your needs when you travel with us.

  • However, if you wish to book travel on the day or less than 36 hours in advance we will make reasonable accommodations by providing special treatment or facilities, if without such special treatment or facilities it would be impossible or unduly difficult for you to travel with us.

2. Travel with wheelchairs

Access to our coaches

General: We may be able to transport passengers who want to (i) travel seated in their wheelchairs and/or (ii) board the Coach using the wheelchair lift while seated in their wheelchair, in each case provided the requirements set out below at (ii) are met. Our Coaches do not have step free access for any passengers using wheelchairs or mobility scooters, unless the requirements set out at (ii) below are met. If you are able to board the Coach using the Coach stairs, we can store your wheelchair / mobility scooter provided the wheelchair/mobility scooter complies with the requirements set out at (i) below.

For passengers who use wheelchairs:

  • we are able to provide travel if the passenger can transfer from their wheelchair to a coach seat and can board the Coach using the stairs, and if the passenger’s wheelchair can be safely stowed in the luggage hold of the Coach. A wheelchair is capable of being safely stowed in the luggage hold when the wheelchair:

    • is capable of being folded and unfolded;

    • if it can’t be folded, can be dismantled and reassembled by the passenger or their carer/companion. Unfortunately our drivers and other staff cannot assist with dismantling and reassembling wheelchairs;

    • if it has a battery the battery is a dry fuel cell or gel fuel cell or lithium battery;

    • has no assistance or auxiliary aids which would make it unsafe for stowage; and

    • weighs no more than 20kg.

    We therefore recommend that passengers who require us to put their wheelchair in the luggage hold book at least 36 hours in advance of travel, by contacting our Assisted Travel Team using one of the options in section 9 below. This will allow us to check that your wheelchair (and ancillary equipment if applicable) is safe for stowage in the luggage hold. However, if you wish to book travel on the day or less than 36 hours in advance we will make reasonable efforts to compete these required steps on the day or within the advance notice period provided.

    In order to carry out the above checks we will need you to give us details of the size, make and model of the wheelchair you will be travelling with. We will advise you either at the time of booking or by calling you back or on the day of travel where the passenger has booked on the day of travel, about the suitability of your wheelchair for carriage in the luggage hold of our coaches

  • where the passenger wants to travel seated in their wheelchair and/or wants to board the Coach using the wheelchair lift while seated in their wheelchair, then provided we are able to conduct our checks prior to travel and those checks are successfully completed, we are able to provide travel to those passengers.

    These checks include, without limit, ensuring the combined weight of the passenger and the wheelchair does not exceed the maximum weight capacity of the wheelchair lift on the Coach, ensuring that the stops at which the passenger wishes to board and alight the Coach are accessible stops at which the wheelchair lift on the Coach can be deployed, ensuring the wheelchair is compatible with the space on the Coach and ensuring that the particular Service on which the passenger wishes to travel is not already fully booked.

    For the avoidance of doubt, the wheelchair lift on the Coach can only be used by passengers who are seated in a wheelchair which has passed our checks, such that passengers cannot stand or use a mobility scooter on the wheelchair lift to board the Coach.

    Where the passenger wants to travel seated in their wheelchair and/or wants to board the Coach using the wheelchair lift while seated in their wheelchair, we recommend that a booking is made at least 36 hours in advance of travel, through our Assisted Travel Helpline by ringing 01 903 9508 and selecting the Assisted Travel Helpline using one of the options in section 9 below, to enable us to conduct our checks. However, if you wish to book travel on the day or otherwise within 36 hours of travel, we will make reasonable efforts to carry out these checks on the day or within any advance notice period provided. We will notify you with the outcome of our checks once these checks have been completed.

3. Travel with Mobility Scooters

For passengers who use mobility scooters, while passengers cannot travel in their mobility scooters, we are able to provide travel if the passenger can transfer to a coach seat, the passenger is able to use coach stairs and the passenger’s mobility scooter can be safely stowed in the luggage hold of the coach. A mobility scooter is capable of being safely stowed in the luggage hold where:

  • (i) the mobility scooter is capable of being folded and unfolded;
  • (ii) if it can’t be folded, the mobility scooter can be dismantled and reassembled by the passenger or their carer/companion. Unfortunately our drivers and other staff cannot assist with dismantling and reassembling mobility scooters;
  • (iii) if the mobility scooter has a battery, the battery is a dry fuel cell or gel fuel cell or lithium battery;
  • (iv) the mobility scooter has no assistance or auxiliary aids which would make it unsafe for stowage; and
  • (v) the heaviest part of the mobility scooter weighs no more than 20kg.

We therefore recommend that a passenger wishing to stow a mobility scooter in the luggage hold makes a booking at least 36 hours in advance of travel, by contacting our Assisted Travel Team using one of the options in section 9 below. This will allow us to check that your mobility scooter (and ancillary equipment if applicable) is safe for stowage in the luggage hold. However, if you wish to book travel on the day or less than 36 hours in advance we will make reasonable efforts to compete these required steps on the day or within the advance notice period provided.

In order to carry out the above checks we will need you to give us details of the size, make and model of the mobility scooter you will be travelling with. We will advise you either at the time of booking or by calling you back or on the day of travel where the passenger has booked on the day of travel, about the suitability of your mobility scooter for carriage in the luggage hold of our coaches.

4. Assistance Services

  • Our staff and drivers are expected to:

    • Recognise and offer reasonable assistance, wherever possible or on request, to our disabled customers and those customers with any additional needs;
    • Be flexible, polite and respectful in their response to requests for assistance;
    • Respond to specific requests from our Assisted Travel Team, ensuring that particular/specified requirements which customers have agreed with the Assisted Travel Team are met;
    • Whenever possible, carry disabled customers’ luggage (or luggage belonging to customers with reduced mobility) onto or off the coach (maximum weight 20kg).

  • If you are disabled or have reduced mobility, we can reserve a front seat on the coach for you, if you feel this would be helpful to you during your journey, subject to availability for your entire journey.

  • We will keep our drivers and station staff informed of your specific requirements and ensure that they provide the appropriate assistance.

  • Our drivers and station staff will load and unload your luggage (including your wheelchair and/or mobility scooter if they meet the requirements referred to in section 2 or 3 as applicable above) to and from the coach, but they are unable to assist with items over 20kg.

  • Our drivers will also offer appropriate assistance when required by providing a steady arm for you to hold while you board and/or disembark a service and/or to assist you to your seat. If you need assistance getting on or off a coach, just let us know by contacting our Assisted Travel Team or tell the driver on the day.

  • We can only offer assistance in the station or at a stop where we have Dublin Express staff and during the hours we have staff on-site. If you need assistance in the station or at a stop, just let us know by contacting our Assisted Travel Team. We will then let you know if the station/stop you will be using is staffed. If it is, we will do all we reasonably can to make sure our staff are there when you get on or off your coach (during the advertised opening hours). We will make reasonable efforts to provide this assistance in a prompt and timely manner.

  • We welcome highly trained assistance dogs in accordance with section 7 below.

  • We welcome customers who require oxygen carried in hand-held/personal oxygen bottles or portable breathing aids. Unfortunately, we cannot carry any larger canisters for safety reasons.

5. What we cannot do

  • Our staff are not permitted to assist you with eating or with personal care/hygiene.

  • Health and Safety considerations mean that we cannot lift or carry you in any way (either on or off the coach or in or out of your seat), or take any other action that might put our staff’s own health, safety or welfare at risk.

  • We cannot provide any medical service such as giving injections. If you have a medical condition that requires others to provide this type of care, make sure you always travel with a companion, who can assist you during your journey.

  • Our drivers and staff are unable to dismantle or reassemble mobility scooters or wheelchairs.

6. Dublin Express Assisted Travel Team

Our Assisted Travel Team is based in our Customer Service Centre in central Birmingham. The team can be contacted by phone, post, text relay services and email, and are/will:

  • available between 9am and 5pm seven days a week (you can send us an email outside of these hours and we will deal with your email at the earliest opportunity)

  • specially trained to respond to requests for assistance from our disabled customers. Advisors will ask for all the necessary and relevant information required to help us deliver the best possible service on the day of travel

  • aim to respond to all requests for information and for disabled assistance within 24 hours

  • provide information in alternative formats should you require. For example, we can provide information via email or in large print. Please contact our Assisted Travel Team using any of the details in section 9 if you require information to be provided in an alternative format.

  • investigate, follow-up and report back to you should you tell us about anything that went wrong with your journey

  • advise you if you make a request we cannot fulfil

  • if you notify us that your pre-booked arrangements did not meet your expectations, investigate and report back to you

7. Assistance Dogs

We are unable to carry dogs or any other animals on our Coaches, with the exception of trained assistance dogs. To ensure we adhere to our Health and Safety commitments and to support us in creating a more inclusive and accessible service we accept assistance dogs which are highly trained.

Customers do not have to pre book an assistance dog onto the Coach, however we do recommend this to ensure there will be space available on the service you require and to avoid disappointment, as assistance dogs can only be carried subject to availability.

When booking, for information purposes you will be asked if your assistance dog is trained by an Assistance Dogs International member organisation, trained by an independent organisation / charity, or owner trained. Whilst you do not have to provide this information, this data will help us to ensure everyone is able to access our services.

Assistance dogs may be required to wear a safety harness when on board the Coach which shall be attached to the seatbelt of a spare seat. If we require your assistance dog to be harnessed, then the safety harness is something that you will be required to provide and, where we have specified that your assistance dog must be harnessed, unfortunately we will not be able to allow your assistance dog on board a Coach without a suitable safety harness. This is to ensure that our driver and other passengers on board the Coach are safe.

When booking you will be asked to confirm that your assistance dog is highly trained by producing evidence, for example, a certificate, correspondence from the training organisation, ID book, owner training logs or an email from the owner confirming what training has taken place. If you do not pre book the driver will ask for this to be produced at the time of boarding the Coach. If this cannot be produced to our satisfaction, then unfortunately we will not be able to allow an assistance dog on board a Coach.

We also advise that customers follow the below, however this will not be a barrier to travel.

  • We also advise your assistance dog has public liability insurance, though this will not be a requirement.

  • Due to space and size of an assistance dog, we may only be able to carry one assistance dog at a time, we therefore advise that customers do book in advance.

  • As we can operate long journeys, we recommend that your assistance dog is also trained on public transport before travelling.

  • We also ask that your assistance dog is identifiable through wearing a vest, however this is not a requirement for travel.

Drivers will be required to provide any reasonable assistance when requested by the customer.

Please note that in cases where our driver declares an allergy or phobia to dogs and depending on the seriousness of the allergy or phobia to dogs, we may not be able to transport customers and their assistance dogs on the original service but we will endeavour to board customers and their assistance dogs on the next available service.

In any case where a dog might display aggressive behaviour, our drivers are able to refuse travel in line with Health and Safety.

We take our commitment to accessibility and inclusion seriously and will aim to continuously improve our processes and procedures.

8. Relevant legislation

When meeting our commitments to disabled customers, we take into account relevant legislation including (without limitation) the Equal Status Acts 2000-2015.

We also take into account all relevant parts of EU legislation including Regulation (EU) No 181/2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport. A full version of the legislation is available from: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/bus-and-coach/index_en.htm For more information, visit our website at: Passenger Rights Legislation

9. Contact us

We really do welcome feedback and comments from all our customers, which helps us to understand how we can improve our service to you.

If you want to contact our Assisted Travel Team, need any further information before you book your coach journey, or just wish to confirm any of the points raised in this leaflet, please contact us by any of the methods detailed below:

By calling our team on +353 1 903 9508 and selecting the Assisted Travel Helpline option, lines open 7 days a week, 9am - 5pm.

By post:

Dublin Express Assisted Travel Team
National Express House
Mill Lane
Digbeth
Birmingham
B5 6DD

All tickets are issued and passengers carried subject to the Dublin Express General Conditions of Carriage.

If you want to make a complaint about your bus trip, contact our Customer Service Team on +353 1 903 9508 or by email or post using the details on the "Contact us" page at dublinexpress.ie. If you are not happy with the response from Dublin Express, contact the National Transport Authority, Dún Scéine, Harcourt Lane, Dublin 2 email info@nationaltransport.ie.

Issued by: National Express Bus and Coach Services Limited, a company registered in Ireland, with registered number 652144 and whose registered office is at 4th Floor, 7/8 Wilton Terrace, Dublin 2, Ireland.

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