Transport User Voice – February 2021 – Accessibility on transport

28 January 2021

The impact of Covid-19

Safety concerns are a big reason why some people say they haven’t returned to public transport. This barrier is higher for disabled people.

Disabled people say they are less likely to return to public transport at least in the same way they used it pre-pandemic, even after the vaccination programme is rolled out. So, we want to find out what operators need to do to gain back the trust of disabled users.

We’ve been talking to rail, bus and motorway service operators about what accessibility initiatives they have put in place since the start of the pandemic. We want to know how they have reassured disabled customers and helped them overcome any difficulties that Covid-safety measures may cause them. We’ll also be talking to disabled transport users to find our how they feel about making journeys now and in the future, their experiences of travelling and how effective they think existing accessibility measures are.

Our research shows that even before Covid-19 disabled people faced a number of barriers on public transport so it is important that new measures put in place as a result of the pandemic don’t add to this. We want to encourage the industry to ‘build back batter’ when it comes to changes taking place in stations as well as on trains and buses.

Operators already have the task of gaining the confidence of passengers once restrictions are lifted and we can travel again. It’s really important that accessibility needs are taken into account in this initiative so disabled people can feel safe travelling again.

We will be exploring this topic further with experts across different modes of transport at our accessibility webinar in the spring. More information will be coming soon.


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