File photo: Catherine Murphy
County Kildare has proportionately more wheelchair accessible taxis than most counties, recent research by Social Democrats Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy has found.
Deputy Murphy has called on the Minister for Transport to review the funding scheme for wheelchair accessible taxis (WAT) so as to ensure that every area has a sufficient number of accessible vehicles to meet demand.
Research undertaken by Deputy Murphy shows that allocation of wheelchair accessible taxis across counties is very unequal with some counties having significantly less accessible taxis than others.
But Kildare has relatively more WAT’s than most.
Dublin does best with one for every 1,966 people.
They are followed by Galway (2,693), Westmeath (2,851) and Kildare with 2885 WAT for every person in the county.
The figures showed that the county had 70 WAT’s and four wheelchair accessible hackney’s (WAH), a total of 74 vehicles.
Some counties fare quite badly with Tipperary on 12,342.
That county has five WAT and seven WAH’s.
Deputy Murphy said she broke down the information provided to her in a number of Personal Questions (PQs) from the Department of Transport and the National Transport Authority (NTA) and matched that against census population data.
“The results show that some counties simply do not have sufficient accessible taxis to match the population,” she said.
“Tipperary, for example, has only one accessible taxi for every 12,342 people whereas Dublin has 1 taxi for every 1,996 people.”
She found that there had been 39 licences issued under wheelchair accessible vehicle grant schemes over four years in Kildare.
Six were issued in 2014 and four in 2015.
This rose to 16 in 2016 and 13 in 2017.
Limerick did not do too well. It had the sixty highest number of people (7,807) for every WAT.
At the other end of the scale, Leitrim was quite high with one for every 3,552 people in its population.
Deputy Murphy said there is little point in continuing to allocate grants using a system that continues to improve only certain counties while other counties fall further behind.
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