180. Joint European requirements for universal design of railway infrastructure and rolling stock was incorporated into Norwegian law in 2011. New trains in use from 2012 satisfy these requirements. Older trains are being upgraded and made accessible with the aid of boarding and disembarking systems, places for wheelchairs and on-board information systems. Regulations on universal design of vehicles on tram tracks, underground tracks, local trains, etc. was enforced from 1 July 2015.
181. When new stations are built or major changes made in existing platforms, the stations are designed to satisfy universal design. Since 2012, all stations have been reviewed in order to map out obstacles which, if remedied, can improve accessibility without major outlay. Measures include marking of stairs, contrast marking of glass surfaces and pillars and installation of door-openers. According to the plan, all of these obstacles will be remedied by 2017. From January 2012, the infrastructure manager is responsible for offering assistance to people with disabilities at selected railway stations. As of 2014, assistance was offered at five stations.
182. Under the universal design action plan of 2009–2013, and as a part of the National Transport Plan, the focus has been on upgrading traffic hubs and bus stops along the national highways. Between 2010 and the end of 2013, 473 bus stops and 26 hubs were upgraded to conform to the principles of universal design.
183. Special regulations on universal design of airports and on the rights of persons with disabilities in connection with air transport were established in 2013. These regulations stipulate the boarding arrangements required at the individual airports and set requirements regarding assistance on departure and arrival.
184. Requirements regarding universal design of ships have been incorporated into acts and regulations. The area of application of the regulations varies depending on the ship's age, length and trading area and on whether it is a high-speed craft. In 2004, further requirements were introduced regarding accessibility and adaptation for disabled persons on ships. The Norwegian Maritime Directorate has additionally stipulated amendments through regulations concerning requirements for universal design of passenger ships in coastal traffic with effect from 1 January 2009. These amendments entail requirements of universal design of access to ships, signage, communication and announcements, alarm systems and supplementary requirements to ensure mobility on board ships.
Statistics and indicators in transport
185. Avinor has started reviewing airports to check whether they have universal design. A total of 46 airports will be reviewed in the period 2014–2016. The goal is for all airports managed by Avinor to have universal design by 2025. As mentioned under Article 9, the overarching goal of Statsbygg is for all building projects to conform to the principles of universal design and for all buildings administrated by Statsbygg to be universally designed by 2025. There are around 6,500 bus stops along the national highways. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration is engaged in making the bus stops and public transport hubs more accessible. In the National Transport Plan 2014–2023, there are plans to upgrade around 900 bus stops and 100 hubs along the national highways to universal design in the course of the decade. In addition come measures in the urban environment agreements. In the period 2010–2013, 473 bus stops and 26 public transport hubs along the national highway were upgraded. The National Transport Plan 2014–2023 contains a goal to increase accessibility and apply universal design to a further 40–80 stations. At the end of 2013, 101 railway stations met the accessibility requirements (30 per cent) and 3 railway stations met the universal design requirements (1 per cent). Thirty-three of the 36 ferries along national highways have universal design.
Individual grant schemes for transport
186. Persons with a permanent disability that precludes them from using public transport, or for whom public transport entails an unreasonable burden, may be entitled to a grant for a car through the National Insurance Act or to a basic benefit to cover some of their extra transport expenses, for example for taxis. Grants may be given through the National Insurance Act to persons who need a car to get to and from work or school, etc. Those who receive grants for a car will normally also have a right to a basic benefit to cover the expenses of running it. Blind and partially sighted persons may receive a grant to buy a guide dog through the National Insurance Act.
187. Pupils who, owing to a disability or temporary injury or illness, need a ride between home and school, are entitled to this regardless of distance. This also applies to pupils with places in after-school care.
188. Freedom of expression in Norway is safeguarded by Article 100 of the Constitution. Norway has also ratified several treaties that deal with freedom of expression, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Persons with disabilities have the same rights as all others to exercise freedom of expression and opinion. By means of various necessary measures, such as the use of new technology, the authorities try to make it possible for everyone to exercise this right.
189. Official information on elections is available on the website www.valg. This website is adapted with HTML coding, text alternatives for images/illustrations, and with options for enlarging text and having text read out loud. Brochures are prepared with large text and on matt paper. Information films are provided with voiceover narration and subtitles. See Article 29 for more details.