A lack of adequate transport solutions is one of the main barriers to people with learning disabilities accessing the same opportunities as anybody else, a report has found.
The 100 voices on transport report, published by learning disability charity Brandon Trust, identifies problems with the lack of adequate and accessible transport for people with learning disabilities and also the barriers they face on public transport, including a lack of understanding for their specific needs from other passengers and drivers.
The report is based on the opinions of more than 100 people with learning disabilities and autism supported by Brandon Trust.
Some of the main problems reported were:
• Lack of accessibility; from the vehicles themselves, to train and bus stations and timetables and signage
• Fear of being abused, mistreated and disrespected by bus drivers, train and station staff, and other passengers. Some reported frightening experiences, especially on buses, such as bullying and teasing
• Lack of understanding by the general public of the barriers a person with a learning disability faces when travelling alone on public transport. Some people can be impatient and rude
• Inability to use concessionary bus passes before 9.30am and therefore having to pay for a taxi to go to college or work
• Lack of appropriate training and support on how to use public transport for people with a moderate learning disability.
To solve these problems, respondents would like to see, among other things:
• Wider time coverage of concessionary travel passes
• Training for bus and taxi drivers, and other transport staff, on the needs of people with learning disabilities
• More public awareness of learning disabilities and increased acceptance of disabled people on public transport. This can be achieved through media coverage and campaigns
• Easy read timetables and complaints procedures
• Cameras on buses to capture abusive behaviour
• More travel and transport training for people with learning disabilities, such as the ‘Travel Buddy’ scheme, run by Brandon Trust, which supports people with learning disabilities who wish to gain independence with their travel.