Your Rights When Accessing Transport Services in Northern Ireland
Refusal of service
A transport provider cannot refuse to provide (or deliberately not provide) a service to a disabled person which it offers to other people, unless the refusal (or non-provision) can be justified. For further information see page 29 of the Code of Practice.
Examples of refusal of service
A bus tour operator offers sightseeing bus tours to the public. However, one prospective passenger is refused access to the tour because he has cerebral palsy. Despite explaining that he has this condition, the bus tour operator will not allow him to join the tour. No other passenger is refused access. This would amount to less favourable treatment for a reason related to disability and, unless the bus tour operator can justify its actions, would be an unlawful refusal of service contrary to the Disability Discrimination Act.
Without making further enquiries or considering the issues involved, a vehicle rental operator refuses to hire a vehicle to a disabled person, arguing that a nearby larger vehicle rental operator can offer a better service to disabled people. This is a refusal of service for a reason related to a disability and is likely to be unlawful.
A licensed taxi driver who stops at a taxi rank pretends not to see a visually impaired person with a long cane who is clearly at the front of the queue, but instead offers service to the next person waiting in line. This is a non-provision of a service and is likely to be unlawful.
A disabled person with a learning disability wishes to travel on an express coach. The coach driver pretends that all seats are taken in order to turn away the disabled passenger because he thinks that the disabled person will upset other passengers because of his disability. This is likely to be unlawful.