Members of DPTAC are mostly, but not exclusively disabled people. They are public appointees recruited to serve for about 3 years.
Members require a high level of understanding of the transport needs of disabled people.
They are required to work with others to constructively and pragmatically increase opportunities for disabled people to travel independently and safely. DPTAC members work with Department for Transport officials, representatives of the transport sector and organisations representing disabled people in order to achieve these goals.
The current members are:
Mike Brace CBE DL
Helen Dolphin MBE
Bryan Matthews BA MA CMILT
David Partington MBE
Will Bee has held senior posts in both the public and private sector as well as running his own consultancy business. From 2001 to 2007 he was Wales Director of the Disability Rights Commission where he also led their work on transport, managing the publication of a Code of Practice and various modal guides to the new duties on operators introduced in the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. A wheelchair user himself Will joined DPTAC in 2008 after the DRC was merged into the Equality and Human Rights Commission. He currently chairs the Local Transport Working Group covering buses and taxis.
Mike Brace CBE DL
Born in Hackney in 1950 Mike was blinded aged 10, by a firework concealed in a bottle. Mike has had 2 parallel careers: he represented his country at cross-country skiing in the Paralympics and he we was part of the London 2012 Olympic Committee. Outside of sport Mike has worked as a social worker and manager in 4 London Boroughs. Mike later set up VISION 2020 UK (an umbrella charity in the sight loss sector) and served as its CEO for 11 years. Having retired in 2012 Mike now undertakes speaking engagements to challenge perceptions of disability, and to raise funds for his many charities.
Sharon Brennan is an established health and disability journalist with a focus on care quality and accessibility concerns. She currently works for the Health Service Journal and in the past has seen her work published in various national newspapers and magazines. She was also the news editor for Royal College of Occupational Therapist’s magazine.
In 2017 she was reappointed to DPTAC after a completing her first successful 3 year tenure. Sharon uses her own personal experiences of living with a non-visible disability to inform her work with DPTAC.
David has spent the majority of his professional career as a Barrister, defending and prosecuting in Crown Court criminal cases. In more recent years, he has focused on employee representation, leading for the FDA Trade Union in a government department and chairing the Union’s Equality and Diversity and Organising Committees. He has also been a member of the TUC Disabled Workers Committee and chairs his employer’s Disabled Staff Network.
David has conditions which affect his vision, mobility and dexterity. He is a very regular user of public transport, particularly trains, buses and the London Underground.
Helen Dolphin MBE
Helen has been a DPTAC member since 2008 and has brought her experience as a physically disabled driver, bus user, train traveller and frequent flier to the Committee. Helen currently works for Fry Law as a consultant lawyer as well as running her own businesses Helen Dolphin Consultancy, People’s Parking and Dolphin Outerwear. Helen is Chair of the Joint Committee on Mobility for Disabled People (JCMD) and Chair of her local mobility assessment centre East Anglia Driveability (EAD). Helen also has an assistance dog from the charity Canine Partners.
Niki has worked for many years as co-ordinator of the Mental Health Action Group, a user led group which has worked extensively for greater recognition and understanding of the travel needs of people living with a mental health condition. She organised the first Mental Health & Transport Summit, sponsored by the Department for Transport, in February 2016. Prior to her appointment as a committee member Niki attended DPTAC as an observer for several years.
Roger Mackett has been a member of DPTAC since April 2014 and chairs the DPTAC Research and Evidence Group. He is Emeritus Professor of Transport Studies at University College London. He also chairs the Transport Working Group of the AgeAction Alliance and is a member of the Standing Committee on Accessible Transportation and Mobility of the US Transportation Research Board in Washington DC.
Before retiring in 2015, David spent over 35 years working in the passenger rail industry, including 13 years as Commercial Director at the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC, now Rail Delivery Group) where his responsibilities included industry-level disability and inclusion activities and policy. Hearing impaired, he
now works as an independent consultant, and joined DPTAC in October 2017.
Bryan Matthews BA MA CMCILT
Bryan Matthews is a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. His research expertise is in transport policy analysis and economics – particularly in relation to disability and ageing, travel technologies and the links between transport and health. He leads and contributes to several aspects of the
Institute’s student education portfolio, including lecturing on air transport, on understanding travel behaviour and on transport, disability, ageing and health.
Beyond the Institute, Bryan is the Chair of the Intelligent Transport Systems UK’s Inclusive Mobility Interest Group, and an active member of the Centre for Disability Studies and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s Accessibility and Inclusion Forum. Bryan has been blind since age 17, and joined DPTAC in October 2017.
David Partington MBE
David has worked in field of disability since 1999 and in Transport Accessibility since 2005, most recently at Transport for Greater Manchester where he held the Accessibility Co-ordinator role within the organisation. He became a DPTAC member in 2014, and is currently Chair of the DPTAC Rail Working Group.
Chris is a Tribunal Panel Member, hearing disability benefit, mental health, special educational needs and disability discrimination appeals. She is an experienced special needs teacher and has led a Post 16 unit for young people diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. Chris has recently been Chair of Trustees and interim Chief Executive of a local Mind charity. She has a physical non-visible disability, and travels extensively by rail
and taxi. Chris is keen to improve the independence and outlook for those with a disability.
Sue Sharp is the Director of Services at the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC), a national charity supporting vision impaired children, young people and their families. Before joining the third sector in 2006, Sue was a civil servant where she worked in the field of transport and disability both domestically and internationally for almost 20 years.
Matthew is a specialist in rail accessibility. He is a former train operating company (TOC) Accessibility Manager, with experience of identifying and delivering improvements to the rail network. Since 2010 he has worked as an independent consultant with TOCs, Rail Delivery Group, Network Rail and Stakeholders to remove barriers to access for people with reduced mobility.
Jessica is a lawyer and has been working in public policy development since joining the Law Commission in 2010. She currently heads the criminal team and has previously worked on law reform projects in transport and consumer redress. She has a particular interest in the regulation of emerging technology, autonomous vehicles, and mobility as a service. Jessica previously worked as a lecturer in Law at Durham University, and was in private practice with Cleary Gottlieb in New York and London from 2003 to 2007. She has been a DPTAC member since 2014.
Tanvi Vyas is a disability rights advocate and consultant working to improve lives of young disabled people with the Trailblazers network. This network is part of Muscular Dystrophy UK. (MDUK) Tanvi raises the profile of challenges and has appeared on national and regional television, on radio, online and in print - highlighting solutions to existing challenges and the investment that can lead to positive change.
Tanvi is on MDUK’s service development committee chaired by Baroness Celia Thomas and is also a member of the wheelchair alliance chaired by Baroness Tanni Grey Thomson.