The withdrawal of new transport fees for rural HSE disability services.

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On the 1st of April, the HSE introduced a daily transport fee - amounting up to €960 annual transport costs per person, for disabled and elderly people availing of HSE day services across Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo.

The move is particularly unfair to those living in rural and isolated areas. The impact of this decision for disabled people cannot be underestimated. The cost would be burdensome to any household. The rate of disabled people living in poverty is on the rise, with 1/4 disabled people living in persistent poverty and making up 27% of the homeless demographic. The cost being imposed is unaffordable and will impede disabled peoples access to vital services or place undue financial stress on households.

Day services are a crucial part of disabled peoples lives, especially in rural areas. They provide access to supports and are the core way in which the state currently supports people being included in the disabled community. The introduction of a transport fee to services will result in an increase in isolation within the community. MEP Matt McCarthy has voiced his concerns that those who cannot afford this fee and will no longer be able to avail of these day services.

The transport service is provided by Local Link, which accepts Free Travel Passes on all other Local Link Services. It is only the services which serve as a crucial access point for disabled people that are being excluded from the free travel scheme. 

The premise of Free Travel Passes for disabled people is to allow for the extra costs that disabled people are met with, the implementation of a transport fee for this service will further disabled people living in poverty and isolation.

Disabled Women Ireland and all signatories call for the HSE to reinstate the Free Travel Passes concession to and from HSE day services.


We urge allies to sign and share this petition to ensure the reversal of a regressive measure that will harm the rural disabled community.


Image from Rohan Transport via Google images.

[Image description - An elderly wheelchair user using the lift from the back of a white van. A man with an orange vest holds the back of the wheelchair. They are in front of a building.]