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News & Features

Further Public Transport Improvements Needed

Posted in General News on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

According to new research which took into account the views of around 2,000 disabled people there are a number of ways that the accessibility of public transport could be improved to ensure that disabled people feel connected and valued in society, not least of which are the attitudes of some members of staff and fellow passengers. The study shows that 52% of disabled people aged between 18 and 34 often face difficulties at train stations and a quarter of those involved said that negative attitudes displayed by some passengers have prevented them from using public transport entirely. Partly as a result of this, 49% of those surveyed said that they feel excluded from society. One of the individuals interviewed as part of Scope’s research commented: “There have been several times when I have booked assistance with a train company and a member of staff has failed to meet me at the station, leaving me panicked because I don’t know whether they will come and take me off before the train departs. The attitudes of staff towards disabled people who travel by train are important too. I’m not an object, so don’t call me a ‘wheelchair’. Instead, use the term ‘wheelchair user’, it’s far more appropriate. We want to feel empowered, respected and valued just like non-disabled people. There’s progress that is being made, but there is so much more that needs to be done.”

In today’s world the effective use of digital technology has the potential to drastically improve the independence and social inclusion of disabled people and while 78% of those surveyed find digital technology helpful in this regard, only 26% of disabled people make use of ‘specialised’ assistive devices and therefore there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that disabled people are able to benefit from this technology. When it comes to the world of motoring we all know the importance of making sure disabled people have access to the adaptations they need to be able to drive safely. However, DMUK is well aware that this is not the end of the story and that disabled motorists have more to overcome on the roads than just the physical act of driving. Refuelling for example, can be particularly challenging for disabled motorists many of whom have had to resort to sounding their horn and waving their Blue Badge in the air to get the assistance they need at petrol stations. Fortunately you can use the Myhailo key fob to call for assistance remotely at participating stations and these key fobs are available in the motoring section of the DMUK shop.

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David Stewart Rolph's Gravatar
David Stewart Rolph

Wednesday, October, 17th, 2018

Trains don't get me started, at my own station if the ticket office is not open then i am treated like something the cat brought and given the look of disgust by the guard. Then they relunctantly put you on the train, because it is more than their job is worth, why it is quite simple put the ream don it is very easy. I have to travel to London quite a bit, when i get off at Stratford the staff are fanstatic and guide me to where the lift is and where to tap in for Oyster Card. Coming back again they are very helpful.

Carolyn Lucas's Gravatar
Carolyn Lucas

Wednesday, October, 17th, 2018

After some main streets in London (in Hackney for instance) have been closed to all but electric vehicles at peak times to cut down on pollution, this scheme is being watched closely by other local authorities. The City of London for instance is considering closing the City to domestic car use altogether. I am wondering whether there are to be any exemptions made for disabled drivers when there is no alternative form of transport available to them. I wonder if you could make some enquiries on behalf of disabled London drivers, or indeed those who need to travel for work or leisure from outside London. As anyone who lives here knows, London is notoriously bad for accessible transport. The Tube network is virtually inaccessible for most & buses will only take small mobility vehicles, those impossible to access what few tube routes are available because of the small wheels which slip between the gaps. There is, unfortunately, often competition for the wheelchair space on buses with pushchair users. No one would argue that cutting pollution isn't necessary but these measures could seriously affect a substantial number of disabled drivers adding further to their misery of getting around London. I would not be surprised if no consideration had been given to this issue but it should certainly be raised before major changes are in operation before we know it. I would be very grateful if some investigations could be made by yourselves. I have no idea at present who would take up any campaigning on this topic. Many thanks. Carolyn Lucas

John Pennycott's Gravatar
John Pennycott

Friday, October, 19th, 2018

Mention should be made about the problems disabled motorists face booking a journey with a disabled concession with CalMac. I live on the Isle of Arran. An able bodied person can book online or phone to book their car and collect their car and passenger tickets at the booth when they arrive without getting out of their car. As I have a disabled concession ticket at a reduced price the system won't allow to do this. I collect the car ticket at the booth when I arrive the same as other cars. However I then have to park in the queue and then walk to the main terminal office to show my pass and pay for my reduced ticket, walk to the booth at the entrance to hand over my ticket then walk back to my car in the disabled queue! I have complained to CalMac who say they are aware of the problem but can't change it at the moment. A few years on and they still haven't sorted this! I an above knee amputee and some days I have to use crutches due to problems with my prosthesis. This unnecessary extra walking about can be a real problem especially if it is wet and windy (which it occasionally is in Scotland!)