Government losing Paralympics transport access impetus
Date: 19/9/2013The London Paralympics last year was a resounding success, but the Transport Select Committee has claimed that the government has not taken action to improve transport access for travellers with disabilities.
It described disabled access to transport in the UK as "unacceptably poor" and claimed that the (DfT) Department for Transport has at best, watered down key improvements, or at worst, abandoned them completely.
The Committee's report, Access to transport for disabled people, called on the government to deliver its ambitious Accessibility Action Plan, as expectations of disabled people had increased on the back of the successful 2012 event in London.
It noted: "Subsequent to the Games, the DfT published its Accessibility Action Plan. This set out measures to improve the physical accessibility of transport for disabled people; to provide better information for the disabled traveller; and to improve attitudes and behaviour towards disabled passengers.
"Many of its proposed measures are praiseworthy, but we are worried about how closely the implementation of this plan is being monitored. The government should publish annual updates about implementation of the plan, including data on changes in the number and types of journeys made by disabled people.”
Committee Chair Louise Ellman said that the changes made ahead of the Paralympics delivered greater access to transport for disabled people for the first time and highlighted the "immense value" of these improvements for all.
However, she explained that a year later, there is a risk the momentum has been lost.
A DfT spokesman thanked the Committee for its report, and went on to say that the government is aware of the need for high-quality, accessible public transport for people with disabilities and that it is taking action.
“For example, our £370 million Access for All programme is delivering improvements at over 1,000 train stations and we recently announced an additional £100 million to carry the work of the scheme forward," they concluded.
Posted by Mary Treen
Transport News, Transport Consulting News and TRL Ltd
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