Disabled Persons Rights
The maritime passenger rights under Regulation (EU) 1177/2010 (incorporated into domestic UK law by section 3 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018) aims to provide disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility with the same opportunities to travel by sea and inland waterway as they have in other transport sectors. This guidance will be of interest to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility in clarifying their rights when travelling by ferry and cruise ship.
Right to Transport Assistance
Your request to travel cannot be refused solely on the grounds of a disability, or reduced mobility, and you are entitled to travel at no extra cost, under the same conditions that apply to all other passengers.
You are entitled to certain assistance both in port and on board ship. This includes assistance boarding and/or leaving the ferry, assistance with baggage and/or any specific medical equipment that you may be carrying, and also assistance in making your way to toilet facilities. Where a passenger has notified Red Funnel of the need for assistance, the passenger will be sent a formal confirmation that such assistance has been requested.
Whilst every effort will be made to take a booking, a request to travel can be refused by Red Funnel on the grounds of safety. This will usually relate to the legal requirement to evacuate all passengers from a vessel in 30 minutes, though it may also be where the design of the ship, or port infrastructure, makes it impossible to carry you in a safe or operationally feasible manner.
Notice of Booking Requests
To ensure that all of your requirements can be met, and that there are no travel restrictions that may affect you, you should make all booking requests as early as possible but at the very least 48 hours before you are due to travel. You should notify Red Funnel (023 8001 9192 or email) of the nature of your disability and of any specific requirements that you may have e.g. particular seating or accommodation, adapted facilities, carriage of specific medical equipment you may need to carry. It must be noted that there may be restrictions on carrying certain equipment e.g. medical oxygen, mattresses, electrical equipment.
After assessing your specific requirements, Red Funnel may require that you are accompanied by an individual that can assist you during the journey. For ferry passengers, the accompanying person can travel free of charge.
Red Funnel offers a Disabled Persons Discount, to find out more please click here.
Loss or Damage of Mobility Equipment
If damage is caused to mobility or other specific equipment, used by a disabled person or person with reduced mobility, as a result of fault or neglect by Red Funnel, then the Company is liable for the cost of repair or replacement. Red Funnel will make reasonable efforts to provide a temporary suitable replacement.
Any complaints to be made under the Regulation should be directed, in the first instance, to Red Funnel (the operator). Under the Regulation each operator must have in place an accessible complaint handling mechanism for rights and obligations covered by this Regulation. A complaint must be submitted within two months of the scheduled date of the service. The operator must notify the passenger within one month of receipt whether the complaint is substantiated, rejected or still under consideration with a final reply and decision within two months.
Red Funnel Ferries
If the complaint cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the passenger, then it may be referred to the complaint handling body. ABTA has been appointed by the DfT to act as the Complaints Handling Body under the Regulation. ABTA has many years of experience of dispute resolution between consumers and operators, and also has in place a conciliation service which can be available to all. ABTA will provide an evidence-based response to a complaint within a reasonable period of time, but will only consider a complaint that has already been through the operator's own complaint handling process.
There is also a National Enforcement Body (NEB) under the Regulation. This is the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) in the UK. The NEB is primarily concerned with significant breaches of the Regulation and will not consider any complaint, in the first instance, unless it is such a breach and/or the person making the complaint has followed the complaint handling procedure above.
Maritime & Coastguard Agency
National Enforcement Body Officer - Technical Performance Section
Directorate of Maritime Safety & Standards
Maritime & Coastguard Agency
Bay 2/23, Spring Place
105 Commercial Road
Southampton SO15 1EG
T. 0238 0329 315
E. [email protected]