The government has partnered with disability charity Scope to develop a new Disabled Persons Passenger Charter to ensure disabled people can travel easily and more confidently.
The Charter for bus, coach, taxi, private hire vehicle and rail will provide a clear explanation of passengers’ rights and bring together a host of information and advice on what to do when things don’t go as expected.
Making public spaces ‘open to all’
The introduction of the Charter follows the publication of the National Disability Strategy which promised to improve journeys for disabled people.
A range of initiatives were proposed, including: an accessibility audit of all rail stations, clearer audible and visual announcements on buses, introducing legislation for taxis and private hire vehicles in Parliament, and £1million to improve access at sea ports.
“I am delighted that we will be partnering with Scope to develop a charter for disabled passengers that will help boost confidence across our road and rail network,” said Accessibility Minister, Wendy Morton.
She added: “This practical guide will pull together disabled passengers’ rights so they understand how they can get from A to B with the dignity and ease they deserve.”
The government has also announced that will support the building of accessible pedestrian and transport infrastructure while making sure that public spaces are open to all. Both the ‘Use of tactile paving surfaces’ and ‘Guide to best practice on access to pedestrian and transport infrastructure’, have also been updated following research and stakeholder engagement to include the latest standards.
The charter will collate existing information on passengers’ rights into one document
For disabled passengers who are unsure on their rights, Scope are collating all existing information for passengers and centralising it into one coherent document in an easy-to-use format.
Mark Hodgkinson, Scope Chief Executive, said the charity is “delighted” to be working with the government to develop a the Charter.
He added: “Thousands of Scope supporters have backed calls for this vital step towards transforming a system that sometimes makes travel unnecessarily hard, if not impossible, if you are disabled.
“Public transport should be accessible for everyone and this charter will help disabled passengers better understand their rights, the standards they should expect across the network and how to hold providers to account when travel goes wrong.”