Transport Secretary launches campaign to improve disabled passengers’ journeys

Transport bosses have launched a campaign to improve the disabled passengers’ journeys on public transport.

The Department for Transport (DfT)  has launched the ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ advertising campaign to highlight how we can all play a part in making public transport inclusive.

According to DfT, one in four disabled people say the attitudes of other passengers prevent them from using public transport.

While government research has shown that unconscious behaviours, such as not looking out for a fellow passenger who might need a seat or be in distress, can make public transport a daunting place for disabled people

Transport bosses say the campaign, which aims to raise awareness around the needs of disabled people, particularly people with non-visible impairments.

It will encourage people to reflect on how common, and often unconscious, behaviours can impact others and what we can all do to create a more considerate environment for passengers.

The campaign is being supported by more than 100 partners, including Scope, First Group, WHSmith Travel and the Alzheimer’s Society.

James Taylor, Director of Strategy and Social Change at disability equality charity Scope, said: ‘Scope is pleased to back the ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ campaign. Disabled people have a right to be treated fairly rather than like second class citizens when they use public transport.

‘The negative attitudes and awkwardness many disabled people continue to experience when travelling need to be a thing of the past. We hope this campaign acts as a catalyst to address these issues so that disabled people can travel fairly.’

Alongside the campaign, the department is launching its Inclusive Transport Leaders scheme, an accreditation scheme which will encourage, celebrate and promote best practice in inclusive transport.

Operators, such as bus and train companies, will be able to work towards accreditation levels by meeting designated criteria and publicly declaring the steps they have taken to improve the travelling experiences of disabled passengers, older people, and those with reduced mobility.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘I want our transport system to be the best in the world for disabled people, but we still have a long way to go.

‘Our ‘its everyone’s journey’ campaign highlights that we can all play a part in making transport more accessible for disabled people. Because I believe we should all be making a determined effort to make public transport accessible to everyone, and I am committed to accelerating the pace of change.

‘We are launching a new scheme to recognise those transport operators which are getting it right and will work quickly to implement recommendations from the upcoming Keith Williams review to improve rail accessibility’

Photo credit – Department for Transport

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