Transport for All welcome this much needed injection of funding for the nation’s transport network.
Disabled passengers face a multitude of barriers to getting around, particularly in areas where public transport options are limited. Approximately 40% of disabled people have no household access to a private vehicle (well above the national average of 21%), so it is vital that all forms of public transport, and Active Travel initiatives, are accessible and inclusive.
We welcome the £5.7 billion sustainable transport boost for City Regions. Among the proposed projects – including renovated stations in Liverpool and Runcorn, and procurement of new Metrolink tram-train vehicles in Greater Manchester – are many opportunities for much-needed accessibility upgrades.
Elsewhere in the budget, we saw plans to progress the rail reforms as set out in the Williams-Shapps review, including £205 million to begin the mobilisation of Great British Railways (GBR). We will be monitoring this progress closely, and continuing to lobby Government to set itself high aspirations for a fully inclusive and accessible railway network – one which features Level Boarding.
Accessible bus services must also be a priority for this and future funding, building upon the recent National Bus Strategy published in March. Disabled people need that strategy’s bold accessibility promises to be delivered: from mandating the provision of audible and visible route and next stop announcements on local bus services; to ensuring that all buses funded by Government provide enhanced level of accessibility including a second priority space for wheelchairs.
What else is in the Budget?
Katie Pennick, Campaigns Lead at Transport for All, said:
Martha Foulds, a member of Transport for All based in Sheffield, said:
Sarah Rennie, a member of Transport for All based in Birmingham, added:
Over the coming weeks and months, we will be seeking meetings with elected officials in those city regions set to receive funding, to discuss plans for ring-fencing funding for accessibility upgrades.