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Accessibility standards for public service vehicles

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Man in wheelchair about to get on to a bus

The Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) continues to roll out and since January 2016 all single-deck buses have needed to be compliant with schedules 1 and 2 of the regulations. The full implementation of the regulations will be complete in 2020.

Your public service vehicle (PSV) may need to have access for disabled people depending on the age of the vehicle and what it is used for. In general, the PSVAR 2000, introduced since 31 December 2000, applies to all buses and coaches running on a local or scheduled service.

Acquired rights

You don’t have to retrofit vehicles to meet accessibility requirements unless you wish to continue to run them on a local or scheduled service after the date from which the relevant vehicles must comply. To make life simpler for our readers, we’ve put together a table explaining which standards apply to which vehicles.

Which regulations apply to your vehicle?

Table showing DVSA compliance requirement for buses and coaches

The requirements

The requirements include:

  • space for a wheelchair, with suitable safety provisions, depending on whether the wheelchair is carried facing forwards or backwards
  • a boarding device to enable wheelchair users to get on and off vehicles
  • priority seats for disabled passengers
  • criteria for steps
  • handrails to assist disabled people
  • visual contrast of features like handrails and steps to help partially sighted people
  • easy-to-use bell pushes throughout the vehicle
  • audible and visible signals to stop a vehicle or to request a boarding device
  • external equipment to display the correct route and destination

For a PSV to be compliant with these regulations it will need to have a valid PSV Accessibility Certificate. Operators can apply for a certificate using the PSV A1 application form on the GOV.UK website.

Alternatively, vehicles may comply with European Directive 2001/85/EC or UNECE Regulation 107.02, which contain similar provisions, as long as they also comply with the route and destination requirements of the PSVAR.

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