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Vote with accessible transport in mind

Added: 7 June 2017 | Updated: 7 June 2017

Tomorrow, Britain will head to the polls to decide our country’s future. Every vote matters, please make sure your voice is heard.

Polls open at 7am and close at 10pm on Thursday, June 8.

Every vote matters!

Many transport services remain out of bounds for its disabled and older citizens. Physical barriers like flights of stairs, gaps and obstacles combined with the way transport services are run prevent many of us from getting out and about and living our lives like everyone else. Access to transport is vital in making this happen.

So tomorrow, vote with our four demands for accessible transport in mind:

  1. Restore deferred Access for All funding and commit to continuing the scheme beyond 2019
  2. Enshrine the right to access in law
  3. No more rail staff cuts
  4. Strengthen the law around wheelchair priority on buses

Over the past days, we’ve been publishing stories from our members explaining why our four demands for accessible transport are so important to them and other Disabled and older people. Click here to read those stories.

What have the major parties got to say on transport access?

Conservative party

“review disabled people’s access and amend regulations if necessary to improve disabled access to licensed premises, parking and housing.”

Green party

“All public transport should be fully accessible and step-free with a phase-in of free local public transport for young people, students, people with disabilities, and older people.”

Labour party

“To make sure that autistic people are able to access the whole of their community and to put an end to social isolation, Labour will set the ambition to make our country autism-friendly.”

“On our railways…In public ownership, we will deliver real improvements for passengers… introducing legal duties to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.”

“reverse the cut to the funding to the Access to All programme,which was set up to improve accessibility to all of Britain’s railway stations.“

“We will reform the legislation governing taxi and private hire services, introducing national standards to guarantee safety and accessibility.”

Liberal Democrat party

“continue the Access for All programme, improving disabled access to public transport as a key priority.“

“Increase accessibility to public places and transport by making more stations wheelchair accessible, improving the legislative framework governing Blue Badges, setting up a benchmarking standard for accessible cities, and bringing into effect the provisions of the 2010 Equality Act on discrimination by private hire vehicles and taxis.“

To make it easier to directly compare the manifestos of the major parties and what they have to say on Disabled people’s issues, Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) have collated relevant pledges under a number of themes (e.g. employment, Disability benefits/social security): Click here to read ROFA’s General Election 2017 Manifesto Comparisons

Polling station access

Disabled people have the right to vote at their polling stations the same as everyone else. Your local Council are required to make certain adjustments to ensure that Disabled people are able to vote.

ROFA have produced a helpful guide on your right to access polling stations (click here to download the document).

The electoral commission advises

  1. All voters have a right to vote independently and in secret. A person who is registered to vote or who has been officially appointed as a proxy voter cannot be refused a ballot paper or the opportunity to vote on the grounds of mental or physical incapacity.
  2. Polling station staff must ensure that disabled voters are not offered a lower standard of service than other voters.
  3. Polling staff should be able to explain what assistance is available to disabled voters wishing to vote in person at a polling station.

Disabled voters are also entitled to:

A voter can’t vote on the large-print version, but it can be used for reference.

Assistance to electors unable to gain access to the polling station

It is the responsibility of the relevant council to designate polling places within their area and to keep these under review. In designating polling places, the council must have regard to accessibility for disabled voters. If an elector is unable to enter the polling station because of physical impairment, the Presiding Officer may take the ballot paper to the elector.

If you have any problems on election day, you should call your local authority to try to resolve this.

You can also contact the Electoral Commission on tel: 0333 103 1928 or textphone: 18001 0207 271 0500.

Advice Line

Finally do not hesitate to contact our Advice line if you need any support planning your accessible journey to your polling station: