Caroline Stickland has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Transport for All, stepping into the post after a 18 months in the team. She writes about her experiences and looks ahead to the future of our organisation…
Dear members, supporters and friends,
I’m delighted to be writing to you as the new CEO of Transport for All. I know first-hand why Transport for All’s role and mission are so vital. I’ve felt the impact of the social barriers that can make a journey go well or go badly, and that impact on whether someone chooses to travel in the first place. That’s why I am honoured to take on this role and be a part of our shared story.
Today, in 2022, the Transport for All team stand on the shoulders of the campaigners and activists who have gone before us. The recent BBC drama ‘Then Barbara Met Alan’ showed us this clearly. In one scene, disabled people painted ‘Transport for All’ onto the wall of a bus garage as part of their incredible campaign for access, respect, and civil rights. Every day in my new role I am amazed by the commitment and persistence of disabled campaigners in our community who continue to fight: amazed by our shared tenacity but also amazed that we still need to campaign for access to transport, so many years later. Things must change, and change fast.
Next year marks Transport for All’s 40th anniversary, and we will be celebrating with you. We want to share the well-known and less known stories of disabled people who campaigned for accessible transport during that time. But we’ll also be looking forward. The next few years will bring new challenges. From the next phase of the pandemic and beyond, to the rising cost of living which will hit hard on disabled and older people, to continued uncertainty for transport services across the UK. Transport for All have much more to do.
We will continue to highlight the experiences of disabled and older people. We will campaign hard for long-term change. And we will hold decision makers to account. Just like in the 1980s, when Transport for All began, our ultimate aim remains the same – highlighting and removing the barriers that disabled and older people still face to getting around.
I look forward to meeting you and working with you on this journey.