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News & Features

Disabled Motorists Await SRN Improvements

Posted in General News on Thursday, November 29th, 2018

The independent watchdog, Transport Focus has recently released a report following its research of disabled road users’ experiences of using England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads. DMUK was heavily involved in this research and the agency’s report includes a number of recommended changes which will improve the Strategic Road Network (SRN) for disabled motorists.

The recommendations which the agency gave to Highways England following interviews with disabled motorists as well as meetings with organisations such as DMUK included; improving information services and signage, increasing the number of disabled parking bays at service stations, reviewing the disability awareness training which is given to recovery staff, and finally making sure that all fuel retailers are making reasonable adjustments so that disabled motorists are not put at a disadvantage when they are using their services.

 In terms of the detail of the first two recommendations regarding information services and signage, Transport Focus discovered that many disabled motorists are afraid of what would happen should they either breakdown or be stuck in traffic for a long period of time. Therefore, Transport Focus is keen to see Highways do better when it comes to publicising the services that are available to help disabled motorists identify possible delays and make sure they know who to contact should they require assistance after a breakdown. Transport Focus also identified that poor signage is having a detrimental effect on disabled motorists particularly those with cognitive disabilities and therefore Highways England have been advised to carry out studies to see how signage can be improved particularly on the approach to, and at services. DMUK is pleased with the outcome of this report and we think that the recommendations to Highways England about providing better information so that disabled motorists can plan their journeys more effectively will be a huge help. However, we would like to see better enforcement of the Blue Badge Scheme at services on the SRN and a more standardised way for disabled motorists to request assistance with refuelling at petrol stations. These are two campaigns that DMUK will continue to push forward in 2019. The full report can be viewed here.

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Wendy Shaw's Gravatar
Wendy Shaw

Monday, December, 3rd, 2018

As a passenger in my WAV (i do not drive) ? what happens on a smart motorway with no hard shoulder if our car breaks down & my driver wants to get me out so I am not injured by cars hitting the stationary vehicle. This is NOT spam but a genuine concern.

Colonel JB Ormsby's Gravatar
Colonel JB Ormsby

Monday, December, 3rd, 2018

One problem that I've noticed is that the designers of Service Areas locate disabled toilets a long way from the entrance. This makes using the toilet VERY difficult for people with mobility problems. I appreciate that Toilets are NOT income generating - unlike the shops and food outlets - but the design suggests that the site owners are simply NOT interested in helping people with disabilities. A few years ago, the Eurotunnel terminal at Folkestone was redesigned and the disabled toilets moved from a location very near the entrance to a location right at the back of the site. What can Disable Motoring UK do to raise awareness of the problem?

Barry Davies 's Gravatar
Barry Davies

Monday, December, 3rd, 2018

I am Ryan's stepdad and driver and have found at least 3 occasions when refueling at night that the cashier is unable to leave the cash desk unattended after certain hours for safety reasons. So if a disabled driver needs assistance then it is not possible. Secondly, we have recently encouraged at the new Preston Iceland Food Warehouse that taxi bay's have been given priority parking over disabled parking, with the taxi bay's directly in front of the store and the disabled bay's 50yards away.

Edward W. Wilkinson's Gravatar
Edward W. Wilkinson

Wednesday, December, 5th, 2018

I am a retired Municipal Engineer who specialised in highway design and highway improvements when I worked for the Devon County Surveyor between 1960 and 1973, being involved in the layout for the A376 to Exmouth (which only partially happened) and having moved to Tiverton Boro' in 1973 was set to design the road layout to the north of Tiverton which was to abut the south side of the North Devon Link Road, now the A361 as it links the M5 and the A396 from Exeter to Dunster near Minehead. Later I worked for Exeter City Council, developing the pedestrianised High Street by permitting only essential vehicles, such as a low loader delivering a new safe to a High Street bank, and cars for the Royal Procession when H.M. The Queen visited the City. How is the Blue Badge Scheme not being correctly enforced? As a Blue Badge holder, I am interested to know. I was denied a Blue Badge by Devon County Council but I was then given a Motability Car by Veterans UK which automatically comes with a Blue Badge.