debug

New funding for accessibility as government reports progress for disabled people across transport network

Tuesday November 3rd, 2020

Government announces extra funding to improve travel for people with disabilities.

first-of-its-kind competition to find new ways to improve transport accessibility is launched

funding of up to £500,000 could remove physical barriers, make it easier to access information, or better support travellers

new funding comes as companies are recognised for their dedication to providing better service

Innovative ideas to improve travel for disabled passengers could be made a reality thanks to government funding announced today (3 November 2020).

The Department for Transport (DfT) is marking Purple Tuesday by launching the first-of-its-kind Accessible Technology Research and Innovation Grant (A-TRIG), which will invest up to £500,000 in projects that can improve access to services or inspire more confidence to travel.

These projects could provide a range of practical solutions that remove physical barriers, make it easier to access information, automate processes or see better support for travellers. They could include:

ways for visually-impaired passengers to identify the bus they want to catch
smartphone apps to report inaccessibility and track progress
a Wayfinder-style system to plan bus journeys
Previously, the department has funded a mobile phone app to help people with dementia use public transport to get to hospital.

The department’s Access for All programme has now provided 200 stations with better access across Great Britain, with around 100 more to be completed by 2024 – a quarter of these in Scotland and Wales. The continued success of the Access for All programme, and accessibility improvements delivered as part of other station enhancement projects, means that more than 75% of rail journeys are now through stations with step-free access, compared with around 50% in 2005.

The competition comes as the department publishes its 2-year update on its Inclusive Transport Strategy, highlighting the work delivered – including expanding Blue Badges to non-visible disabilities, launching the It’s everyone’s journey public awareness campaign, and funding 59 Changing Places toilets in motorway services, 7 of which have now opened, with more to do so next year.

As part of this, the department has also launched the Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme and is today announcing the first companies to receive accreditation under the scheme. Brighton and Hove Buses and Hovertravel have achieved the highest status as ‘Leaders’, with Network Rail and Arriva Kent and Surrey receiving ‘Committed’ status. The ‘Leaders’ demonstrate best practice and can share their experience with others, while ‘Committed’ members have demonstrated a good foundation on which to build better services for disabled passengers. More transport operators will be invited to join shortly

Transport companies are also being urged to use free disability training resources, being published shortly, to train their staff so disabled people have a consistent and positive experience regardless of transport mode, helping overcome one of the biggest barriers to confident travel along with infrastructure enhancements. The training has been designed with the involvement of disabled people and will help change the way staff interact with and support all passengers.

Leave a Reply

debug