The impact of streetspace changes on disabled people

At Transport for All we are concerned about the pace of change of our streetspace and the impact on disabled people. By ‘streetspace’ we mean all the space that you walk, wheel, push, drive or cycle in – spaces that are seeing huge changes that impact accessibility including: widened pavements, low traffic neighbourhoods, street clutter, and the introduction of e-scooters.

We fully support the fight for climate justice and understand the importance of introducing environmental initiatives that promote Active Travel, particularly in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. However, we maintain that environmental initiatives must not negatively impact disabled people. 

At a time where many disabled people are shielding or otherwise not physically outside and accessing streetspaces, there’s a real fear that disabled voices are not present in decision making.  As the ‘new normal’ is being shaped we ask that those designing our rapidly changing streetscapes commit to making these shared spaces a world-class example of equity, community and harmony, for everyone.

Cartoon illustration of man in electric wheelchair with a ventillator wheeling through a Low Traffic Neighbourhood.

Pave The Way report

View our report

You can access our report in the following formats:

The Pave The Way (PTW) report is the only independent and in-depth research into how disabled people have been impacted by Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, and the barriers to Active Travel.

Our report, released in January 2021, is the product of 6 months of in-depth research into the impacts of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) on disabled people. The report presents our findings from the qualitative interviews we conducted with 84 disabled participants from across the impairment groups, and sets out the landscape of street design, transport, and the rights of disabled people in the pandemic and beyond.

The interviews were compelling, enlightening, and at times emotion-filled. Participants shared their concerns not only with the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, but with the context that the LTNs sit within: difficult personal circumstances in the time of a global pandemic, wide societal and structural barriers to Active Travel, negative attitudes and stigmatisation of disability, and an increasingly hostile and inaccessible transport system.

Publication date: 22nd January 2021

Update: 4 months on

Our Pave The Way report remains the only in-depth and independent piece of research into the impacts of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods on disabled people, and has proven to be an invaluable resource to so many.  

4 months on, we are so proud of the lasting impact our work has had and is continuing to have.   

Share our work