Good news! The capital of Ireland has been deemed the most wheelchair-accessible city in Europe.
Dublin has been named the most accessible city in Europe for tourists using wheelchairs, in a study conducted by Alpharooms Travel Blog. In a competitive list that includes the continent’s most visited and well-known cities, the capital of Ireland came out on top.
Here we take a look at this impressive news.
Out of a list of ten cities, Dublin came in first place, followed by Vienna in second and Berlin in third. London was named fourth, while Amsterdam completed the top five.
Milan came in at sixth, Barcelona seventh, Rome eighth, Prague ninth, and, finally, Paris tenth on the list.
The blog studied the top 15 attractions for each of the most visited European cities. Each attraction could achieve a top score of twenty-five.
The study analysed the cities’ wheelchair accessibility, whether assistance is available at the relevant attraction, the availability of onsite parking, descriptive tours, and adapted toilets.
Additionally, Alpharooms analysed the percentage of public transport that was accessible, on top of the percentage of accessible rooms in the top five hotels for each city.
The study was split between three headings, namely ‘Tourist Attractions’, ‘Public Transport,’ and ‘Hotels.’
Results of the study
Dublin finished second place in terms of ‘Tourist Attractions,’ just ahead of London in second and far ahead of Paris at eighth.
The Irish capital topped the list when analysed in terms of its access on public transport, followed closely by Austria’s capital Vienna and the Spanish city of Barcelona. Alpharooms announced that the Dublin Luas was “completely accessible” for all of its users.
While not as high as the previous headings, Dublin was still rated favourably with the blog in terms of access within hotels, coming in at fourth and behind London, Berlin, and Milan.
Collating the results collectively, it was Dublin that finished ahead of the pack as the most accessible city in Europe for tourists.
Amongst London’s Buckingham Palace and Paris’ Louvre Museum, the Guinness Storehouse was found to be one of the most accessible attractions analysed.
Alpharooms hadn’t been the only one to recognise Dublin’s accessibility. Prior to this study, Dublin Airport had been named the Best Airport in Europe for Accessibility at the Airports Council International Awards in 2016.
Concerns about the study
Despite the favourable results for Dublin in the study, disability rights campaigners in Ireland have questioned the study’s results.
The Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) and the National Council for the Blind Ireland (NCBI) have stated that the study does not reflect the reality for wheelchair users and people with sight loss and argued that the Luas and DART are not fully accessible.
Their claims are backed by an October 2018 National Accessible Transport survey conducted by the IWA, which found that 71% of Bus Eireann users with a disability were dissatisfied with the service, and 66% of DART users were dissatisfied with the service provided.
Response of Alpharooms
Acknowledging the concerns raised about the study, Alpharooms noted that the survey was conducted based on the experience of tourists and not locals.
The blog studied the vehicle information and whether they were accessible, not the personal experiences of those with reduced mobility and disability.