TfA has always believed that it is imperative that the experiences and views of disabled and older transport users are communicated to transport providers and commissioners if and when any changes or improvements are planned. However, only some boroughs have mobility forums or other forums of disabled and older people where dialogue and discussion on transport issues occurs. Other boroughs have less clear structures in place.
In light of this, TfA was keen to bring together representatives from each of London‘s borough in order to build a London wide picture on what consultation on transport is really like – as well as to ascertain what the main transport issues are concerning disabled and older Londoners.
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The response we received was very enthusiastic – and over 50 people attended the pan London forum meeting on Jan 15th. The Chairs and members of from many of London’s mobility forums attended – as well as representatives from other local borough forums of disabled and older people. They were joined by reps from disabled and older people’s organisations, Inclusion London, Community transport providers, reps from TfL and GLA assembly member Jenny Jones, who is on the GLA transport committee.
Each borough representative gave feedback as to what forums exists in their borough – and much discussion was had over what constitutes an effective forum. Issues like the frequency of meetings, and whether disabled and/or older service users should chair meetings were hotly debated. A report detailing the findings of the pan London forum will soon be produced.
A vote was taken at the meeting and a decision made to continue with the idea of a Pan London forum – as a means of keeping transport campaigners and activists in touch with each other. TfA hopes to work with other stakeholders to organise another pan London meeting in the coming months.