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24/10/2017

Talks Begin Over Proposed Changes To Minibus Legislation

The Department of Infrastructure is in talks with the Equality Commission over proposed changes to minibus legislation.

Sinn Fein has raised serious concerns about the planned changes to minibus licensing laws which were originally set to come into effect on 01 January, however they have been brought forward due to a legal challenge and two months before the consultation has been complete.

The party's transport spokesperson Sean Lynch MLA commented: "The proposals are likely to have a very damaging impact on the ability of health trusts, sports clubs and other community organisations to provide minibus transport.
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"Rural community transport partnerships, which currently provide over 200,000 trips a year to elderly people, disabled people and the most isolated and vulnerable communities across the north, will be particularly badly affected. Potentially, the future feasibility of these services is under threat.

"Sinn Féin met with the Department last week and made clear they have a duty under equality legislation to ensure any changes do not negatively impact on vulnerable groups such as disabled and elderly people.

"We urged them to engage with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and I welcome confirmation that this engagement has now begun."

(CD/MH)

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