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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, whether 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, one in four 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, 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. However, regardless of the nature of a person’s impairment, they should have the same opportunity – to access services that most of us will take for granted.
In July 2018, the government launched the ‘Inclusive Transport Strategy: Achieving Equal Access for Disabled People’. Our ambition is for disabled people to have the same access to transport as everyone else and to be able to travel confidently, easily and without extra cost. Our overall goal is to create a transport system which offers equal access for disabled passengers by 2030, with assistance if physical infrastructure remains a barrier.
As we approach one year since the publication of the strategy, this summary sets out the commitments achieved during that period. Going forward, we will provide regular updates on progress.
This summary mirrors the structure of the Inclusive Transport Strategy, which is based on five 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; and
future of inclusive transport – ensuring that new technologies and future transport systems are designed from the outset with disabled people in mind.
The Inclusive Transport Strategy covers all modes of transport and includes individual commitments – over 90 in total – across these themes. The rest of this document sets out a summary of progress made against the key ones.
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 20191 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.
7. Commitment highlights – delivery by 2019-2020
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. ↩