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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inclusive-transport-strategy/the-inclusive-transport-strategy-summary-of-progress
There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK who want easy access to travel, whether for work or leisure; to advance their opportunities or lifestyle; and to do so with choice and dignity, and without additional cost.
We also have an ageing society. It is estimated that, by 2050, 1 in 4 people in the UK will be aged 65 years or over and, as people get older, they are more likely to experience a wide range of conditions such as mobility impairments, and memory, visual or hearing loss.
Increasingly, we are recognising that not all impairments are visible, and that mental health conditions and cognitive impairments can have just as profound an impact on people as physical conditions.
Regardless of the nature of a person’s impairment, however, they should have the same opportunity: to access services that most of us take for granted.
About the Inclusive Transport Strategy
In July 2018, the previous government published the Inclusive Transport Strategy: achieving equal access for disabled people.
Two years on, this government retains the ambition that disabled people must have the same access to transport as everyone else and be able to travel confidently, easily and without extra cost.
The overall goal of the strategy is to create a transport system that offers equal access for disabled passengers by 2030, with assistance if physical infrastructure remains a barrier.
Going forward, we will continue to provide regular updates on progress.
Themes of the Inclusive Transport Strategy
The Inclusive Transport Strategy (ITS) covers all modes of transport and includes over 90 individual commitments in total.
This summary mirrors the structure of the ITS, which is based on the following 5 main themes:
- awareness of passenger rights and enforcement – working to ensure that all passengers know what service they can expect and have the assurance that reporting non-compliance will lead to enforcement action
- better staff training – to ensure that transport staff have greater understanding of the needs of disabled passengers and their legal rights, and therefore provide better assistance
- improved information – so that information is provided in forms that all passengers can access and understand, both before and during a journey
- inclusive physical infrastructure – taking steps to ensure that vehicles, stations and streetscapes are designed and built so they are inclusive and easy to use
- future of inclusive transport – ensuring that new technologies and future transport systems are designed from the outset with disabled people in mind
It also includes detail on:
- the research, and monitoring and evaluation work being undertaken to understand the impact of the ITS
- ongoing work to deliver an accessible transport system
Progress in 2019 to 2020
This summary follows on from the update provided in 2019 and outlines the commitments achieved since that date.
It is important to note, however, that this year’s update has been produced during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and this factor has had a significant impact on the delivery of the ITS.
A number of commitments have been paused or delayed due to the impact of COVID-19 on the transport industry and the wider travelling public. This update report makes clear where coronavirus has had particular impacts.
1. Awareness of passenger rights and enforcement
By end of 2019, work with the Office for Rail and Road (ORR) as it reviews the current Disabled People’s Protection Policy (DPPP) guidance and considers how the requirements it contains are to be monitored
The revised DPPP guidance, now known as the Accessible Travel Policy (ATP) guidance, was published on 27 July 2019 and included enhanced requirements on all operators to deliver an accessible travel policy.
ORR has approved several of the ATPs submitted by train operators and these are available to view via both train operators and the ORR website.
These will be monitored on a regular basis to review how the requirements set out in the ATP are being met, and ensure the policy document remains fit for purpose and reflects the current position.
Continue to work with passenger and industry representative bodies, and support the work of regulators to encourage greater promotion of information about the rights of disabled travellers, and what they are entitled to expect in terms of service and facilities, as well as developing easier ways to register complaints when things go wrong
There is now a requirement within the ATP that train operators introduce redress mechanisms to respond to issues such as the failure to provide booked assistance.
In 2019 to 2020, 2,746 redress claims were received and 1,239 claims were resolved.
By 2019, consider how passenger assistance could be improved by providing assistance via a single member of staff throughout the journey (airside and landside)
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) published a robust accessibility performance framework for airports on 1 April 2019.
The CAA will implement a number of changes in phases over 3 years. This includes a requirement to reduce handover instances where possible to ensure the journey for all passengers is smooth with continuous assistance available.
Handover instances are when one member of staff provides the passenger assistance for one stage of the journey through an airport and another staff member takes over for the next stage. Previously, passengers could be waiting for assistance to continue their journey through the airport, and the assistance provided was not continuous.
Through this refreshed framework, CAA has implemented measures to ensure shorter waiting times for assistance to arrive. From 2019, for the airport to reach a ‘good’ rating in the annual Airport Accessibility Report, 97% of passengers who have pre-notified their need for assistance should receive assistance within 20 minutes. This target will rise to 98% from 2020.
This is particularly important for arriving passengers, where the waiting time targets have been strengthened. This is to ensure that assistance is available for all passengers requiring it as soon as possible after the aircraft’s landing.
The Department for Transport (DfT) works closely with the CAA who, as the regulator for the sector, ensures that the standards of assistance remain high and that improvements where needed are implemented. The CAA monitors the industry’s performance in this area and publishes the findings together with rankings for the UK airports annually.
From Autumn 2018, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will undertake a dedicated survey of disabled passengers using ferries and cruise ships in order to effectively measure the services provided
The 2019 disabled passenger satisfaction survey was published on 26 October 2020. MCA has decided, in discussion with DfT, not to undertake a 2020 survey of disabled passengers as most maritime services are not running this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, the maritime sector will be surveyed as part of the wider ITS monitoring and evaluation work taking place within the DfT.
It is expected that the MCA survey will restart in 2021. The DfT will make improvements to it by making the online platform more accessible and refreshing the questions, so the data captured is more revealing. The DfT, with MCA, will also increase publicity to encourage more passengers to respond.
The DfT confirms its intention to work with the Welsh government to understand the impact of its decision to make statutory duties designed to deliver the Public Sector Equality Duty, as well as its decision to impose duties on public authorities in Wales
In January 2020 a meeting was held with the Welsh government to gain a better understanding of their Public Sector Equality Duty decisions, and we will continue to maintain relationships and share good practice.
In addition, the DfT has introduced an obligation on train operators to conduct diversity impact assessment on all projects.
2. Better staff training
Through future rail franchises, require that train operating companies (TOCs) should have at least one person responsible for accessibility at board level and one person at an operational level to ensure inclusive transport is embedded into the service provided
All TOCs now have someone responsible for accessibility at both board and operational level.
By the end of 2018, include a section focused entirely on accessibility in franchise competitions, which will require bidders to commit to providing enhanced disability awareness training for staff covering a range of impairments, including less visible disabilities. Bidders must commit to involving disabled people in the design and delivery of that training as part of the franchise tendering process
Since the end of 2019, all franchise competitions require bidders to commit to providing enhanced disability awareness training for staff covering a range of impairments, including less visible disabilities. Bidders are also required to involve disabled people in the design and delivery of that training, as part of the franchise tendering process.
Train operators have confirmed to ORR that they continue to make progress on the development of their training packages.
Recommend – or, where appropriate, require – that rail operators and regulators involve disabled people or representative organisations, wherever possible, in the training received by rail staff (meaning transport operators should ensure that the course content is informed by the lived experience of disabled people, relevant to the transport mode concerned)
All train operators are in the process of creating a disability awareness training package. ORR requires them to involve disabled people or organisations in the creation and, if possible, the delivery. A number of train operators – including Great Western Railway (GWR), London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and Greater Anglia – have started delivering the training package.
Develop an accreditation scheme to incentivise operators to use the disability awareness training package produced by the DfT, publicly sign up to commitments to improve accessibility, and become Disability Confident employers
The Inclusive Transport Leaders pilot scheme was launched in February 2020 and, in the first tranche, 6 applications were received; 4 operators were successful and awarded accreditation.
The disability awareness training package was launched in November 2020.
In 2019, launch a DfT passenger awareness campaign, developed jointly with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) and disabled people’s organisations, and aimed at raising awareness of disabled travellers’ rights and needs when using the transport system
The inclusive transport campaign ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ was launched in October 2019 with a public awareness campaign that ran from February until 17 March 2020 with the aims of:
- increasing awareness, with the intention of enabling an increase in take-up, of the Disabled Persons Railcard, Passenger Assist and Concessionary Bus Passes
- increasing disability awareness amongst all transport passengers, highlighting that hate crime is a criminal offence and promoting how incidences of hate crime can be reported
Despite not running in full due to COVID-19, the campaign performed well with positive engagement and over 200 supporting partners.
3. Improving information and awareness
Support the work being led by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to produce a digital map by August 2018, which shows accessibility information for all stations on the rail network, available online and to download for customers to take with them on their journey
The interactive access map was launched in 2019. This enables passengers, including visually impaired people, to find out about station accessibility in one click, helping people feel more confident about travelling by train.
Between March and July 2019, more than 24,000 people logged on. An app version is due to go live later this year.
From the end of 2018, require through future rail franchises that TOCs promote greater passenger awareness of the Passenger Assist service. We will also support the RDG’s awareness-raising campaign, which will be run online and at in-station events
This commitment is now a requirement in the ATP guidance, so all train operators are required to promote Passenger Assist and continue to do so.
From 2019, introduce new accessibility requirements mandating all train operators running new franchises to write to the Secretary of State for Transport (copied to the Transport Accessibility Minister) on an annual basis, outlining all activity that has been conducted to improve accessibility for rail passengers, including what they have done beyond the obligations in their franchise agreements and setting out steps they will take to increase any poor performance in their provision of the Passenger Assist scheme. The DfT will publish these letters to ensure transparency and to share best practice
All train operators are required to submit reports to the ORR on accessibility on a regular basis, outlining all activity undertaken to improve accessibility for rail passengers. This includes setting out steps they will take to increase any poor performance in their provision of the Passenger Assist scheme.
The train operators are required to provide a copy of any report submitted to ORR to the Secretary of State within 7 days of it being submitted to ORR.
4. Inclusive physical infrastructure
Provide £2 million of new funding to enable more motorway service area operators to install Changing Places facilities at existing and new facilities in England
Muscular Dystrophy UK agreed to receive the £2 million and pay out the funding to motorway service areas (MSAs) on DfT’s behalf.
The funding competition was launched in April 2019 with the announcement on initial funding awarded in September 2019. View a list of those awarded initial funding.
In July this year, DfT, in partnership with Muscular Dystrophy UK, announced a further £1.27 million to install 37 more Changing Places at motorway service areas across England. These new facilities will give people with complex needs and their carers the confidence and freedom to make more journeys by road.
With this latest round of funding, 87 of England’s 118 motorway service areas will be set to have a fully accessible Changing Places toilet in the early 2020s.
From autumn 2018, publish data on an annual basis on the proportion of wheelchair-accessible taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) in local areas
In October 2018, the first statistics on the proportion of wheelchair accessible taxis and PHVs in local areas were published, and these are now published on an annual basis. View the latest statistics.
From autumn 2019, publish on an annual basis a list of those authorities that we know to have issued a list of taxis and PHVs designated as being wheelchair-accessible in accordance with Section 167 of the Equality Act 2010
Between April 2018 and March 2019, 72% of authorities maintained a list of wheelchair accessible taxis in accordance with section 167 of the Equality Act 2010, while 62% maintained a list of wheelchair-accessible PHVs. Details of local authorities that keep lists are published annually.
Community transport operators provide vital services that link people and communities to services including hospital appointments, and we want to see this continue. The DfT will be announcing next steps following the outcome of the recent consultation in due course
In January and February 2020, we consulted with a number of stakeholders, including representatives of commercial and non-commercial operators, on the updated guidance for community transport operators.
The guidance will provide clarity on when community transport operators are eligible for section 19 and 22 permits, exempting them from needing full public service vehicle operator’s licences, thus encouraging and sustaining the existence of these vital services.
We are currently reviewing and finalising the detail of the updated guidance before we publish it.
Seek industry nominations for additional Access for All projects in 2018 and announce the next tranche of stations in April 2019. Provide up to £300 million of funding to extend the programme to improve the accessibility of the railway until at least 2024
We announced the stations that will receive a share of the £300 million Access for All funding in the ITS in rail control period 6. A further £50 million was also added to the available funding in 2020.
A total of 114 stations will receive an accessible route into the station and between each platform, opening up leisure and business rail travel opportunities for disabled passengers.
£20 million was allocated to deliver a variety of smaller-scale access improvements at a further 134 stations.
All projects are due to be completed by 2024 at the latest.
Publish an Aviation Strategy consultation at the end of 2018, which will contain policy proposals on improving disabled people’s access to, and experience of, using aviation. These proposals were outlined in our Next steps towards an aviation strategy report, which was published on 7 April 2018
The Aviation 2050 – the future of UK aviation consultation was published 18 December 2018 and closed on 22 June 2019.
The Aviation Strategy itself has not been published yet, partly due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation industry.
Continue our work to gather evidence on pavement parking, the effectiveness of current laws and potential alternatives, noting the recent consultation by the Scottish government on new measures for tackling this issue in Scotland.
In January 2019, the Transport Select Committee (TSC) held a pavement parking inquiry, publishing its report on 9 September 2019. The government’s formal response to that inquiry, published by the TSC on 12 March 2020, committed the government to consult on specific measures for tackling pavement parking proposed by the TSC:
- giving local authorities powers to enforce against instances of obstructive pavement parking
- introducing a nationwide ban on pavement parking across England, outside London
The DfT has now published this consultation and the results will help inform ministerial decisions on next steps.
Announce £2 million of funding in the current financial year to help speed up the roll-out of audiovisual information across bus fleets
Formalised details of the funding competition for operators will be published in due course.
In 2019, in consultation with DPTAC, publish a toolkit for the maritime industry highlighting key challenges disabled people can face in travelling by sea, as well as recommendations on how they can make maritime infrastructure more accessible – for example, by considering including accessible toilets and Changing Places facilities when they upgrade and renovate port infrastructure, and providing facilities so that disabled and reduced-mobility passengers can park close to port terminal buildings while waiting to board a vessel
The maritime passenger rights industry toolkit was published in January 2020.
We hope to progress the action further to understand the impact of the toolkit on disabled travellers as travel increases.
Following publication of the findings from the two previous research reports, reappoint TRL to redraft the existing DfT guidance on both Tactile paving and Inclusive mobility. As part of this, consult with DPTAC on the content of the redrafts and have a member sitting on the Steering Group
The Steering Group evaluated the findings of the two reports – Inclusive mobility and tactile paving guidance review and Accessible public realm: updating guidance and further research – and identified the steps that should be taken to update the guidance documents. In February 2020, we published the research findings.
Findings from the two previous reports will be used to update guidance. TRL have now been appointed to update the guidance and this will be published in spring 2021.
5. Future of inclusive transport
Set a clear direction to industry on the importance of inclusive design as part of future innovation through the forthcoming Future of mobility: call for evidence and Future of mobility: urban strategy
Informed by responses to the Future of mobility: call for evidence in September 2018, the future of mobility: urban strategy, published in March 2019, established a set of principles to underpin government’s approach to future mobility.
To demonstrate a commitment to industry and local authorities on the importance of inclusive design, the second of these principles stressed that “the benefits of innovation in mobility must be available to all parts of the UK and all segments of society”.
To help implement this principle in the DfT, we have undertaken research across the Future of Transport programme, including an evidence review on the potential equalities impacts of future transport for people with different protected characteristics. The report from phase 1 of this project is due to be published in autumn 2020.
We have also maintained engagement with key stakeholders to better understand the risks and opportunities of future transport for disabled people. This includes seeking views through the Future of transport regulatory review: call for evidence, which closed in July 2020, around the regulation of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and electric scooters, for example, to ensure the needs of disabled people are met. The summary of responses for this call for evidence is also due to be published in autumn 2020.
6. Research and monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the Inclusive Transport Strategy, and ongoing work to deliver a more accessible transport system
Commission research into the travelling experiences of disabled passengers, identifying the challenges inhibiting disabled passengers from using the rail network
The research by Transport Focu, into the inhibiting challenges passengers faced when travelling by rail has been completed and was published in July 2019.
Commission research to quantify the economic, social and commercial benefits of making passenger transport more accessible
Research quantifying the economic, social and commercial benefits of making passenger transport more accessible was commissioned in summer 2019; however, this project is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, and its impact on passengers’ travel behaviour and transport perceptions.
Discussions are ongoing to consider options to restart this work.
Within 6 months of the publication of this strategy, we will publish a monitoring and evaluation framework. This will specify key output indicators to assess our progress against our ambition and actions
The monitoring and evaluation framework was published in December 2018.
The first Inclusivity Scorecard, which will report on key indicators and monitoring data, is due to be published between winter 2020 and early 2021. The publication timing of subsequent scorecards is under review.
An initial evaluation report will be published in early 2021 and a final evaluation report is currently due to be published at the end of 2023.
The Minister for Transport will call a formal annual meeting involving DPTAC, the external stakeholder advisory group and the programme board to review progress, and will meet with both DPTAC and the advisory group on an ad hoc basis as required
The first meeting between these groups took place in July 2019. The Minister continues to meet with DPTAC and other disability stakeholders on a regular basis to discuss the progress of the ITS, as well as other accessibility-related matters.
The second meeting between these groups is scheduled to take place this autumn.
Progressing the inclusive transport agenda during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
The DfT remains committed to the ambition set out in the ITS and to the important steps within it that will help us achieve equal access to transport for disabled people.
2020 has been a challenging year for us all due to the impact of coronavirus. The above summary sets out the progress that has been made on ITS delivery; however, in addition to this, we have also sought to ensure that the needs of disabled passengers have been considered and addressed as part of our response to and recovery from the pandemic.
Over the past 6 months, DfT ministers and officials have held regular – at times weekly – meetings with disability organisations such as the National Autistic Society, Scope and Guide Dogs (as well as our statutory advisors the DPTAC) to identify the issues of most concern to disabled passengers with respect to the transport system.
This stakeholder engagement has helped us to develop guidance for the transport industry and passengers that takes into account the needs of disabled people, particularly as the wider policy response to coronavirus has changed. We will continue this engagement during our ongoing work to respond to the pandemic.
In addition to the work outlined above, the DfT has also been working closely with the Cabinet Office as it develops the forthcoming National Strategy for Disabled People. We intend to set out new commitments for delivering inclusive transport as part of this strategy, which is scheduled to be published in spring 2021.
Progress in 2018 to 2019
This summary sets out the commitments achieved during the first year following the strategy’s publication.
1. Awareness of passenger rights and enforcement
In the past year the following commitments, set out in Chapter 5 of the Inclusive Transport Strategy, have been achieved.
By end of 2019, work with the Office for Rail and Road (ORR) as it reviews the current Disabled People’s Protection Policy guidance and considers how the requirements it contains are to be monitored
In November 2018, the ORR published their consultation ‘Improving Assisted Travel – A consultation on changes to guidance for train and station operators on Disabled People’s Protection Policy (DPPP)’. The consultation closed in February 2019. The consultation set out proposals to review the DPPP Guidance for train and station operators on how to write their policies for helping disabled people to travel by rail. ORR will publish the revised guidance this summer, following further work with stakeholders on the draft revised guidance that they had consulted on. In the meantime, ORR will be publishing a summary of consultation responses alongside an explanation of their next steps.
From autumn 2018, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will undertake a dedicated survey of disabled passengers using ferries and cruise ships to effectively measure the services provided
From August to October 2018, the MCA completed an annual survey of disabled passengers and those of reduced mobility, asking about their personal experiences of voyages using ferries or cruise ships and how effective the provision of assistance has been. Following analysis of the responses, the MCA published a report on GOV.UK on 3 June. The 2019 survey will commence on 1 August 2019.
By the end of 2018, support the establishment of a Rail Ombudsman to investigate and rule on unresolved customer complaints (including on the provision of assistance and access to advertised accessibility facilities), with the power to issue decisions that are binding on the industry
In November 2018, the first Rail Ombudsman service was introduced. The rail industry has worked with government and consumer groups to appoint the new Ombudsman. The independent Ombudsman will make sure passengers are heard and that they get a fair deal when train companies fall short. The service will be provided by the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman, which has a strong track record of alternative dispute resolution in the retail sector.
2. Better staff training
In the past year the following commitments, as set out in Chapter 6 of the Inclusive Transport Strategy, have been achieved.
Raise awareness amongst Department for Transport (DfT) staff on how the public sector equality duty and the needs of people with protected characteristics should be considered as part of transport policy development and delivery
In July 2018, recognising the importance of government policy makers leading the way, DfT held several Equality Leader workshops for staff, to drive equality and disability awareness across the Department.
In January 2019, the Department formally launched its DfT Equality Leaders Scheme. The Equality Leader role has been created to help further promote awareness of equality and diversity issues and embed equalities in the day-to-day operation of the Department. Over 60 Equality Leaders have been appointed, and a new process has been developed to ensure equalities is at the heart of departmental advice.
Lead the way, by providing disability equality and awareness training for DfT staff as part of our staff development programmes
In June 2019, in association with Transport for London and Inclusion London, we launched a programme of disability awareness training sessions for DfT staff. The training offer is full day sessions with the morning spent accompanying disabled passengers on a range of transport modes, before a classroom session in the afternoon conducted by a trainer with lived-experience of disability. These sessions provide participants with an opportunity to hear from and personally experience access to the transport network from the perspective of disabled passengers.
Develop a disability equality and awareness training package that can be made available across modes to all transport operators
In June 2019, the Department launched a competitive tender to secure an organisation to develop disability equality training for transport operators. The training will span several modes to be as inclusive as possible. It is envisaged that the final product will be produced and made available to operators by summer 2020.
3. Improved information
In the past year the following commitments, set out in Chapter 7 of the Inclusive Transport Strategy, have been achieved.
By the end of 2018, ensure that disabled people travelling on the majority of the rail network will have the choice to travel on a smart ticket (i.e. paperless ticket) that can be bought online without having to queue at ticket machines or ticket barriers. Being able to buy at home will help those who might find it difficult to use a ticket machine or ticket office to buy or collect their ticket
In 2018, train operators delivered on the Secretary of State’s commitment to ensure that smart tickets can be accepted at stations across most of the network, following DfT’s £80 million Smart Ticketing on National Rail (STNR) programme. By the end of 2019, smart cards are planned to be interoperable, allowing travel across different Train Operating Companies (TOCs) following further work by train companies. With mobile barcodes being ideal for long-distance journeys and smartcards offering the best option for season tickets, all operators now offer barcode and/or smart card ticketing.
By the end of 2018, consult on draft Accessible Information Regulations to require audible and visible next stop announcements to be provided on local bus services across Great Britain
In Summer 2018 we consulted on proposals to require accessible on-board information provision on local bus services throughout Great Britain, recognising the importance of accessible on-board information in helping bus passengers to travel with confidence. We continue to analyse responses to the consultation and expect to announce our next steps regarding the making of Regulations and publication of guidance later in the year.
Support the work being led by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to produce a digital map by August 2018 which shows accessibility information for all stations on the rail network available online and to download for customers to take with them on their journey
Launched in April 2019, the RDG working in collaboration with train companies and the Department has created a new Access Map. The interactive map will enable passengers to find out how accessible stations across the country are, enabling them to plan their journeys according to their needs, thus helping to boost their confidence to travel by train.
Following the delivery of the Accessibility Action Plan Consultation we committed that by the end of 2018, Driving Mobility will produce guidance to support families concerned about an older person’s driving ability, along with information on alternatives to self-driving.
In December 2018, Driving Mobility published guidance to support families concerned about an older person’s driving ability, along with information on alternatives to self-driving.
4. Inclusive physical infrastructure
In the past year the following commitments, as set out in Chapter 8 of the Inclusive Transport Strategy, have been achieved.
By autumn 2018, publish the conclusions of the research project currently underway to review the existing departmental guidance on both Tactile Paving and Inclusive Mobility, with the view to expanding or updating them and exploring whether the two sets of documents should be combined. Following consideration of the findings from this research project, the department will consider the extent of any changes to guidance required.
In July 2018, an initial report of a scoping study into the possible revision of ‘Inclusive Mobility’ and ‘Guidance on tactile paving surfaces’ was published. The report was created by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) following a literature review and stakeholder engagement. TRL has subsequently been appointed to conduct follow-on research, which will specifically look at six key areas that were identified in the initial findings. As with TRL’s initial report, we will publish the full findings from this research. Updates to both sets of guidance will follow at a later date.
Announce our actions in response to the recent Blue Badge consultation by the end of this year (2018)
In July 2018, we announced an extension of the Blue Badge eligibility criteria to explicitly include people with non-physical disabilities (mental, cognitive, learning, psychological, and neurological). This is the most significant change to the scheme since its beginning in 1970, making it easier for people with non-visible disabilities to travel. We published a summary of responses and a government response to the consultation on widening the Blue Badge eligibility criteria on GOV.UK. A Statutory Instrument (SI) was laid in April, and the policy will come into force from Friday 30 August 2019.
In June 2019, we issued supporting guidance to local authorities in England for extending the Blue Badge scheme. The expanded scheme coincides with the launch of a new task force to strengthen enforcement and help councils tackle fraudulent use of the badges.
Request that local authorities pause on the installation of shared space schemes incorporating a level surface, whilst we revise our guidance to take account of the recommendations recently made by the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation and advice received from the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC). Alongside this, we will temporarily withdraw Local Transport Note 1/11: Shared Space
In July 2018, in recognition of issues raised by groups representing visually impaired people who expressed concern that shared space schemes were difficult to navigate and left them feeling excluded, local authorities were asked to pause the introduction of new shared space schemes which incorporated a ‘level surface’, in which the kerb between the road and the pavement is removed. The pause will allow us to carry out research into inclusive street design and produce updated guidance. The research, led by Transport Scotland, will commence in late July and will inform future guidance on creating places that are accessible, inclusive and well-designed. The research plan has been developed and agreed in conjunction with a working group representing a range of disability groups. We have also temporarily withdrawn Local Transport Note 1/11: Shared Space, while this work takes place.
By 2019, request that local highway authorities help to improve local journeys to and from hospital for disabled and older people by actively considering the location of bus stops and routes when developing the next iteration of their local transport plans
In July 2018, the Department wrote to local authority Chief Executives drawing their attention to the difficulties faced by those attempting to use patient transport services. They were invited to help to improve local journeys to and from hospital for disabled and older people, by actively considering the location of bus stops and routes when developing the next iteration of their local transport plans.
Provide £2 million of new funding to enable more motorway service area operators to install Changing Places facilities at existing and new facilities in England
In November 2018, we announced our partnership with Muscular Dystrophy UK to administer the £2 million grant for the installation of Changing Places toilets at motorway services areas. In April 2019, the Department invited the operators of motorway service areas to apply for a share of the funding and we expect to announce where the funding will be allocated by the end of September 2019.
Publish an Aviation Strategy consultation at the end of 2018, which will contain policy proposals to improving disabled peoples’ access to, and experience of, using aviation. These proposals were outlined in our ‘Next Steps Towards an Aviation Strategy’ report published on 7 April 2018
In December 2018, we published Aviation 2050: The future of UK aviation for consultation, which outlined proposals for a new aviation strategy. The Green Paper included proposals to improve air travel for disabled passengers and those with reduced mobility. The consultation period was extended to 20 June 2019[footnote 1] to provide further time for stakeholders to consider its proposals and submit their responses. We are currently analysing the responses we have received and will publish the final Aviation 2050 in due course.
Airports are continuing to improve services by making termini more accessible and inclusive, including using technology and innovation. Good examples of the progress during the past year are the introduction of the Aira app at Heathrow that assists people with visual impairments to navigate the terminal environment independently; and Gatwick being the first UK airport to introduce a sensory room which provides a calm and relaxing space to use before boarding a flight, aimed at passengers with impairments such as autism or dementia.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will ensure that the central guidance on patient transport service eligibility is updated so that patient transport services are delivered efficiently and consistently across England. By the end of 2018, NHS England and NHS Improvement will jointly undertake a scoping exercise in relation to a wider review of patient transport services. This analysis will inform the approach to refreshing the guidance
NHS Improvement has, in recent months, led a high-level scoping exercise in relation to patient transport services. Following the completion of this exercise, results have been collated and the DHSC are now working with NHS England and NHS Improvement to decide the next steps to take and consider how this work links to longer term commitments.
Alongside its regular inspection of NHS ambulance services, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has committed to inspecting all independent ambulance providers, including those engaged in providing NHS patient transport services. CQC will report on themes for continued improvement in the sector by March 2019
The CQC’s report, specifically on the independent providers of patient transport services, was published in March 2019. The key findings were that quality and safety of services varies greatly in relation to the recruitment and training of staff, governance arrangements, safeguarding practices, medicines management, vehicles and equipment as well as leadership and governance.
CQC has also consulted on its next phase of inspections for independent healthcare services, including independent ambulance services and will determine next steps
Since July 2018, CQC has used its recent powers to rate independent providers of patient transport services in the same way as NHS ambulance services. This will increase the transparency of service quality with patients and commissioners, informing choice and further focussing independent providers on making service improvements.
Community transport operators provide vital services that link people and communities to services including hospital appointments, and we want to see this continue. The department will announce next steps following the outcome of the recent consultation in due course
In March 2019, we published a government response to the consultation on community transport in Great Britain and associated guidance on the scope of 2 of the exemptions to the EU Regulation 1071/2009 (the EU Regulation). This sets the standards that road passenger transport operators have to meet and has been part of UK law since 2011. It contains 3 exemptions to the requirement to hold an operator license.
We have passed legislation on 1 of the 2 exemptions, which allows for local circumstances to be considered when making decisions about meeting its requirements. This will benefit communities in rural areas where community transport is often the only transport option.
In December 2018, an application was made to the High Court for permission to judicially review the department’s approach to the third exemption. The guidance will be updated once the outcome of the legal proceedings is known, likely to be early 2020
Provide up to £300 million of funding to extend the Access for All programme to improve the accessibility of the railway until at least 2024
In April 2019, we announced another 73 stations that will be included in the Access to All programme, which was launched in 2006 to provide accessible routes at selected railway stations. This includes step-free access as well as features to help those with a range of impairments address the issues faced by disabled passengers when using railway stations in Great Britain, providing proper access into the station and to and between all platforms.
Following the delivery of the Accessibility Action Plan Consultation, commit to carry out research into the travelling experiences of disabled passengers, identifying the challenges inhibiting disabled passengers from using the rail network
In July 2019, the Department published research into the barriers experienced by disabled rail passengers. The research, which was commissioned in 2017, by the Department and Transport Focus, explored the full end to end rail journey, with the aim of better understanding the experiences of disabled passengers and the barriers and challenges they may face when travelling by rail.
5. Future of inclusive transport
In the past year the following commitments, set out in Chapter 9 of the Inclusive Transport Strategy, have been achieved.
Set a clear direction to industry on the importance of inclusive design as part of future innovation through the forthcoming Future of Mobility Call for Evidence and Future of Urban Mobility Strategy
In March 2019, we published the ‘Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy’ which sets out the government’s approach to innovation in urban transport. It outlines the approach to maximising the benefits of transport innovation in cities and towns. The strategy also contains details of the next steps for the government’s Future of Mobility Grand Challenge. Alongside the strategy, the department also published the summary of responses to its Future of Mobility call for evidence.
Ensure that accessibility is considered throughout the Future of Mobility Regulatory Review. This will include examining whether new regulation is needed to ensure that emerging technologies and services are accessible
The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) has asked the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission to undertake a far-reaching review of the legal framework for automated vehicles, and their use as part of public transport networks and on-demand passenger services. This is a three-year project running from 2018 to 2021. The Law Commission has published an analysis of responses to its first consultation on safety assurance and legal liability as well as the full text responses received. It is now working on a second consultation paper on automated road passenger services.
6. Governance, monitoring and evaluation
In the past year the following commitments, set out in Chapter 10 of the Inclusive Transport Strategy, have been achieved.
Within six months of the publication of the Inclusive Transport Strategy (25 July 2018), we will publish a monitoring and evaluation framework. This will specify key output indicators to assess our progress against our ambition and actions
In December 2018, the department published Understanding the impact of the Inclusive Transport Strategy: A framework for monitoring and evaluation. The framework explains what we will do to show how inclusive transport is changing and how the strategy’s actions have had an impact. By monitoring and evaluating, we shall see what difference our actions are making and how far we have progressed towards our ambitions.
The department will establish a new stakeholder advisory group involving local government, transport operators, disabled peoples’ organisations, and charities, to be chaired by the Programme Manager. This group will provide external support in rolling out the actions in the strategy as well as providing a challenge function
In November 2018, the department established the Inclusive Transport Stakeholder Group, enabling structured, direct communication been the department and organisations representing disabled people as the strategy is delivered. The first meeting was held in December 2018 and subsequent meetings have been held quarterly.
The programme board will meet on a quarterly basis, chaired by the programme Senior Responsible Owner, and at each meeting will review the strategy delivery plan and progress against actions
In December 2018, a programme board of senior civil servants responsible for the various strategy commitments was established, to steer and track progress of the strategy’s commitments and risks on a quarterly basis.
During this period the department has also continued to raise the profile of the strategy including through parliamentary events, visits and digital communications.
Commitment highlights – delivery by 2019 to 2020
The following list highlights commitments where good progress has been made and final delivery is expected during the remainder of 2019 and early 2020.
By 2019, develop an accreditation scheme to incentivise operators to use the disability awareness training package, publicly sign up to commitments to improve inclusivity and to become Disability Confident employers
The Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme is on track to be launched later this year. It aims to incentivise operators to undertake disability awareness training, publicly sign up to commitments to improve accessibility and to become Disability Confident employers by enabling the best performing transport operators to be formally recognised for the actions they are taking to improve disabled passengers’ experience of using the transport system.
In 2019, launch a public awareness campaign working with a wide range of partners including DPTAC, to promote ways of positively interacting with disabled people to ensure a supportive travelling experience and reduce instances of disability related hate crime
During 2019, DfT will launch a public awareness campaign that seeks to create a supportive travelling experience for disabled people by increasing awareness of their needs, particularly those with non-visible disabilities. In-depth customer research has been conducted which has informed the development of the campaign creative and recommended media plan. We are engaging with a wide range of external stakeholders including DPTAC, disabled peoples’ organisations, charity sector representatives, regulators, and transport operators to work in partnership and deliver a campaign that aims to increase disabled peoples’ confidence when using public transport.
As part of the campaign, we will also seek to ensure that disabled people better understand their rights when travelling. In late 2019, we will publish a document which explains Passenger Rights under EU Regulation 1177/2010 when travelling by sea and inland waterway, as the first stage in this.
By spring 2019, develop a monitoring and enforcement framework for mandatory bus driver disability awareness training, which will include identifying a body to ensure compliance by bus operators with legal requirements
We continue to develop a monitoring and enforcement framework for mandatory bus driver disability awareness training, which will include identifying a body to ensure compliance by bus operators with legal requirements. Rates of compliance with mandatory bus driver disability awareness training now appear in the annual bus statistics survey and the 2018/19 bus statistics show high rates of compliance. The next step is to validate these statistics with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and identify proportionate enforcement arrangements.
By 2020, work with the bus industry, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, and passenger representatives to encourage improved promotion of information about the rights of disabled travellers and what they are entitled to expect in terms of service and facilities, as well as developing easier ways to register complaints when things go wrong
We continue to work proactively with passenger and industry representative bodies and support the work of regulators to encourage greater promotion of information about the rights of disabled travellers and what they are entitled to expect in terms of service and facilities, as well as developing easier ways to register complaints when things go wrong.
Update Local Transport Note 2/08, which sets out the department’s guidance to local authorities on designing safe and inclusive infrastructure for cyclists, to take account of developments in cycling infrastructure since its publication in 2008 and responses to the draft Accessibility Action Plan (AAP) consultation, and publish a revised version by early 2019
The department aims to publish a revised version of Local Transport Note 2/08 in autumn 2019.
Following the delivery of the Accessibility Action Plan Consultation, commit that, by 2020, Mobility Centres will look to trial the development of community style ‘hubs’, alongside the provision of their existing services.
An additional DfT grant of £250,000 was transferred for use by seven Mobility Centres to trial the development of community style “hubs”. Mobility Centre ‘hubs’ will promote the public and private transport options available to those considering giving up driving, those who have been advised to cease driving and people who require assistance with public and private transport options that are available in each region. By offering this extra service the Mobility Centres are providing a service to all those who have difficulty in travelling, including those with less visible disabilities.
In 2019, in consultation with DPTAC, publish a toolkit for the maritime industry highlighting key challenges disabled people can face in travelling by sea as well as recommendations on how they can make maritime infrastructure more accessible
In 2019, we will publish a toolkit for the maritime industry highlighting key challenges disabled people can face in travelling by sea as well as recommendations on how maritime infrastructure can be made more accessible. This might be achieved, for example, by including accessible toilets and Changing Places facilities when operators upgrade and renovate port infrastructure, and providing facilities so that disabled and reduced-mobility passengers can park close to port terminal buildings while waiting to board a vessel.
In relation to aviation, continue to work with passenger and industry representative bodies and support the work of regulators to encourage greater promotion of information about the rights of disabled travellers and what they are entitled to expect in terms of service and facilities, as well as developing easier ways to register complaints when things go wrong
As part of the government’s long-term Aviation Strategy, we are proposing a new industry-wide Passenger Charter that will seek to increase awareness of consumer rights standards across aviation, improve passenger services and promote best practice in the aviation sector. It will have a significant focus on accessibility and will drive forward improvements for disabled passengers including raising awareness of the rights for free assistance along with simplifying the complaints process. The ‘Aviation 2050: The future of UK aviation’ Green Paper consultation ended on 20 June 2019. The department will now analyse all the responses in order to publish a final strategy by the end of the year.
Apart from specific questions on legislative airspace change proposals, which have been consulted on alongside the green paper. The closing date for responses to the airspace change legislation questions remained 11 April 2019. ↩