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Seven election demands for accessible transport

Thanks to the efforts of disabled and older campaigners, access to transport has improved a great deal over the last twenty years.

But inaccessible transport is still preventing us from living full lives. Disabled people travel a third less often than the general public [1] and one in three disabled people cite transport as a barrier to work [2].

We are calling on Parliamentary candidates to sign up to our seven demands. Disabled and older people want to be able to travel with the same freedom and independence as everyone else.

1) Double the funding to make rail stations accessible

Only one in five stations in the UK have stepfree access. The Government’s Access for All scheme funds station access - but too few stations, too slowly.

2) Protect staffing levels at rail stations

Disabled and older people depend on visible, available transport staff for advice and assistance. The Government needs to ensure that when train services are franchised, staffing levels are protected so that disabled and older people can travel with confidence.

3) Audio-visual information on every bus

In London, we have had talking buses for years. Time the rest of the UK caught up.

4) Back our Right to Ride – wheelchair priority on buses

Doug Paulley’s legal battle to use his local buses shone a light on how, over twenty years after disabled people chained themselves to buses to win a wheelchair space, disabled people are face daily discrimination on the bus. We want wheelchair priority in the wheelchair bay protected by law.

5) Introduce mandatory disability equality training for bus drivers

The EU introduced new rights in 2013 for disabled bus passengers, including introducing disability equality training for drivers. But the UK has made full use of exemptions, so we still do not have the same right to ride as disabled passengers do in elsewhere in Europe.

6) End taxi and PHV discrimination – implement section 165 of the Equality Act

Equal access to taxis and private hire vehicles – unenforceable for fifteen years. The Government must implement section 165 of the Equalities Act, and make it illegal for taxi and minicab drivers to charge extra for wheelchair users.

7) Take a trip with disabled and older transport users

There is no substitute for direct experience. We are calling on all candidates to commit to making a journey with a disabled or older person – or better still, a group – to see first-hand the barriers that we encounter every day.

Click here to download our leaflet ‘7 election demands for accessible transport’. Click here for an accessible version of the 7 demands (.doc).

Take action: question your parliamentary candidates and cast your vote with transport access in mind

Attend a hustings

Disabled and older people’s organisations all over London are holding hustings. These events are a perfect opportunity to ask your MP hopefuls about these issues and find out if they’ll support equality for disabled and older transport users. Be respectful but hold out for a clear answer: ‘If elected, will you…’ is a good way to hold your candidate to account!

We’ve listed some upcoming hustings with a focus on disabled people (click here) ; but of course, it’s useful to raise these issues at general hustings as well: many are listed on the MeetYourNextMP.com website.

We’d love to hear how you get on: phone us; email us or tweet us and let us know what your parliamentary candidates committed to.

Go out and vote!

From inaccessible polling booths, to being turned away illegally from polling stations, disabled people often face extra barriers to voting. But participating in the democratic process is our right. To be confident you can vote on May 7th, ensure you are registered here.

After the election…

The campaigning doesn’t stop once your MP has been voted in! We want to make sure every new London MP takes a journey with an older or disabled transport user; so they can see firsthand the barriers we face.

If you are interested in taking your newly elected MP on a journey with you, please contact us letting us know your impairment and your postcode. We’ll be in touch again after the election with more information about this.

[1] Source: www.transport-research.info/web/projects/project_details.cfm?id=7441&page=contact

[2] 29% cite difficulty with transport as a barrier to work. Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/life-opportunities-survey-wave-one-results-2009-to-2011