DPTAC is the independent group, sitting within the Department for Transport, which advises the Government about the transport needs of disabled people. Most of its members are disabled people, representing a cross section of impairments. DPTAC will have a chair, 12 appointee members as well as observer members.
DPTAC are currently recruiting new members with ‘a good, practical knowledge of transport and the needs of disabled people’ Members are required for approximately 2 days a month, and remunerated for their time. Applicants are asked to apply with a CV and covering letter. The application pack can be found here.
The Government had previously proposed abolishing DPTAC. Transport for All last year wrote to the Government to suggest that DPTAC continued, albeit in form which engages more fully with the wider disabled community than the current DPTAC group. We are glad that the Government has listened to disabled transport users and agreed to retain DPTAC, allowing it to draw on the knowledge and lived experience that disabled transport users offer.
However, in its response to the Transport Committee’s Inquiry into transport access for disabled people, the Government set out its intention to include transport industry representatives on DPTAC. The transport industry, in particularly the bus industry which has consistently resisted calls to introduce audio visual information on buses, has often opposed disabled people’s calls for equal access to transport. While there are many channels for transport lobbyists to make their views known, we are concerned that the inclusion of industry representatives may compromise the advice of DPTAC, especially when there is a cost to transport operators to implementing an improvement to accessibility and the interests of the industry do not align with the interests of disabled passengers.
More information can be found on the DPTAC website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disabled-persons-transport-advisory-committee