The Transport Committee released the findings and recommendations of its report “Access to transport for disabled people” on 17 September 2013.
The full report can be accessed at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmtran/116/11602.htm
Commenting on the report, Adam Bonner, Director of Community Mission at national disability charity Livability, said:
“We know that much remains to be done to make our transport services fully accessible for disabled people and this report is a timely wake-up call that urgent action is needed.
Access to adequate transport facilities is essential in enabling disabled people to travel to their place of work, to access healthcare facilities or simply to get out and about in their local community.
As a disability charity, our service users consistently identify transport as one of their main concerns and as a barrier to them being able to fully participate in public life.
Many disabled people already feel isolated from the rest of society and further restriction to their mobility and independence, due to poor transport provision, is simply not acceptable.
The report clearly shows that we need to build further on the Paralympic Games momentum and it offers a number of practical recommendations to move forward. However nothing will be done unless there is a real will in Government to address these issues and put their words into action.
Although improving the infrastructure is key, we welcome the fact that the transport committee is calling for greater awareness of disability issues, by providing better training for transport staff, raising awareness amongst the general public through a national publicity campaign, in addition to holding transport companies to account for failing to deliver services that are fully inclusive.
Allowing carers to travel free of charge on flights is a step in the right direction – ensuring that disabled people can experience greater freedom and are able to receive the support they may require whilst travelling; without having to worry about additional financial burden. This is not a “luxury” – some disabled people with complex needs have no other choice especially if the airline deems it necessary for safety reasons.
In the long-term, we want to see Government continue to listen to and act on the feedback provided by disabled people and the organisations that support them. We will be monitoring the situation.
Livability is a member of the Disability Action Alliance coalition who helped contribute to this report.”
Listen to an audio interview with Livability’s CEO Dave Webber, speaking on issues around access to transport for disabled people.
The interview was broadcast on UCB radio.