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Posted on: 15 Apr 

Why does the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Grant exist?

From its height in 2008 to the end of 2015, the number of wheelchair accessible taxis operating in Ireland had dropped by over 30%. This drop had a considerable impact on the provision of services for people with mobility issues and was partially equated to the additional cost of converting a taxi into a Wheelchair Accessible Taxi.

In May 2011 the NTA announced a grant aid scheme to attempt to address this drop in numbers.

For a few reasons this initial financial incentive didn’t make the impact hoped, so in 2014, in respect of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013, the government made changes to the legislation relating to SPSV’s, (Small Public Service Vehicle) to make it less prohibitive to bring new wheelchair accessible taxi service providers into commission.

The changes introduced attempted to look at some of the wider reasons for the drop in numbers, including how running wheelchair accessible taxis affected drivers and businesses. Some of the changes included reducing the minimum amount of passengers that a vehicle can carry and the increase in the maximum length of time a wheelchair accessible vehicle can remain in service.

The Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Grants has proven to be successful in increasing the number of wheelchair accessible taxi’s and therefore impact upon the services required by people with mobility needs. As a result, 2016 has seen the reintroduction of the scheme.

taxi light for wheelchair access taxi