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News & Features

Department for Transport launch Inclusive Transport Strategy

Posted in General News on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

The Department for Transport has today set out its Inclusive Transport Strategy, which will improve accessibility across all types of travel for those with both visible and less visible disabilities. It follows the Accessibility Action Plan consultation which received over 1000 responses, including a response from Disabled Motoring UK.

The strategy includes investment in rail accessibility infrastructure, commitments to produce league tables which highlight operators that are delivering the best service for disabled people, and funding for Changing Places accessible toilets at motorway service stations.

  • New measures will help to make transport fully accessible for all passengers by 2030
  • More than £300 million made available for improvements to the network
  • Part of a Government drive to build a society that works for all.

The Government will put up to £300 million of funding into extending the Access for All programme, making railway stations more accessible, including through step-free access.

Transport Accessibility Minister Nusrat Ghani said:

“Transport is at the heart of how we live our lives. It helps us get to work, stay in touch with friends and family, and access vital services like healthcare and education.

“But for our ageing population and the fifth of people who are disabled, access to transport can be far from straightforward.

“This Inclusive Transport Strategy is the first step in achieving a genuinely inclusive transport network, which meets the needs of all people, regardless of whether they are disabled or not.”

Government acknowledges there is a lot of work to do to make the transport system fully accessible by 2030. The physical infrastructure that will be required to achieve this will take time to build. However, they are committed to working at pace on those areas where they can make an immediate and important difference, such as training and assistance.

Other measures announced today include supporting the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to improve and simplify Passenger Assist – the system disabled passengers use to book assistance on the rail network.

Train operators will be held to account for delivering on this service, ensuring they compensate passengers if the booked assistance is not provided.

Other measures announced today include:

  • £2 million to install Changing Places toilets at motorway service stations, supporting disabled people to travel easily and comfortably on the road network;
  • £2 million for audio and visual equipment on buses, so that passengers on almost every bus will know where and when to alight;
  • A £2 million passenger awareness campaign to increase disability awareness and reduce hate crime on our network;
  • An accreditation scheme for transport operators to receive formal recognition for positive work to improve disabled passengers’ experiences, such as training frontline staff and senior management on disability awareness;
  • Ensuring future technology is designed inclusively from the outset, with opportunities sought to harness innovation.

This work comes ahead of the Government’s Aviation Strategy, which will set out further measures to improve the airport and flying experience for disabled people.

This could include working with industry to provide better staff training, offering improved on-board facilities and exploring possible changes to aircraft design.

It follows an announcement in May, when the Prime Minister said she wanted people to enjoy an extra five years of healthy and independent living by 2035, while also narrowing the gap between the richest and poorest.

Central to making this a reality will be supporting people to remain active and connected to their families and communities – and transport has a significant role to play.

The Inclusive Transport Strategy also includes raising awareness and enforcement of passengers’ rights, staff training and improvements to accessible information. This will support the Future of Mobility Grand challenge, at the heart of which is a transport system that works for everyone.

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