As we are waiting for the new Government to take shape, the next few weeks will be an incredibly important time for influencing your new MP.
Austerity and cuts have hit Disabled and older communities hard – and funding for vital transport accessibility projects like Access for All on the railways has been a victim of this.
We need to ensure that MPs understand the experiences and aspirations of Disabled and older transport users – so that we can grow our base of allies in the Houses of Parliament.
That is why we urge all of our members to invite their newly elected MPs on a trip, so that they can get first-hand experience of what it is like travelling with an impairment.
Whether it is taking a local bus route or using the Tube and train– travelling with your MP will give you a chance to put the case for investing both funds and political will in transforming our transport system, so that we can all use it. We know that such actions are more powerful than any presentation or report could be! TfA can provide support and advice, as well as importantly, make the introductions.
The more MPs we can speak to about our transport access issues, the more influence we will have to win improvements to our transport network – allowing Disabled and older people to travel with more freedom and confidence.
Real change in Redbridge
Some of those trips can have a direct positive impact locally. For example, after the previous General Election, Abdul Jamil and June Kelsey from the Redbridge Transport Action Group took MP Mike Gapes on a journey with them. They thanked him for his work to ensure that Crossrail will be fully accessible to disabled and older people from Day 1. Abdul, a scooter user, showed Mike a bus stop where bus ramps frequently failed, and asked him to speak to the council about getting this fixed.
Within three weeks, the MP had contacted Redbridge Council and they’d fixed the bus stop kerb. Abdul is now able to use this bus stop with confidence.
Take action – Encourage your MP to take a trip with a Disabled or older person
Following the election Transport for All will be writing to MPs across London asking that they take a trip with a Disabled or older person, but they will be much more likely to take part if they’re contacted by a constituent.
So please help us by writting to your local MP. Click here to download our template letter.
How-To-Ressource ‘Get Your Mp On Board’
We have produced a How-To-Ressource ‘Get Your Mp On Board’ to help you contact your MP. Click on the following links to download it:
Here are a few tips on how to write to your MP:
- If you’re not sure who your MP is, you can find out on the Write To them website (https://www.writetothem.com/): Simply type your postcode into the website and it will tell you.
- If you’re not online, you can call the Transport for All office with your postcode and we’ll look it up.
- You can email your MP (their email address will be online; all MPs have a website) or write a letter to them addressed to the House of Commons, London, SW1A 1AA. Always include your own address, so your MP knows you are a constituent. We’ve included a draft email in this resource, (page 10).
- If you are part of a group of older or disabled people (for example, a pensioner forum or an Independent Living Centre), you might want to invite the MP to travel with you to one of your meetings, so she or he can hear from others about their transport issues!
- MPs get hundreds of emails every day, so it’s a good idea to follow up your letter or email with a phone call. You can reach your MP by phoning the House of Commons switchboard on 020 7219 3000 and asking for your MP.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you need any support:
- Tel: 020 7737 2339 (option 2. Ask to speak to Cath)
- Text: 07984 755 894
- Email: Catherine@transportforall.org.uk
- Address: Transport for All, 336 Brixton Road, SW9 7AA