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New Transport Solutions Must Make Accessibility Top Priority, Government Says

16 May 2019

The government’s Mobility Minister, Jesse Norman, has said that “new transport solutions and technology should be geared strongly towards making life easier for people with mobility issues”.

In Bristol for the launch event for a self driving car project, the Minister added that “Self-driving technologies could greatly improve the mobility of vulnerable user groups, helping to address problems of isolation and loneliness across the country.

“The needs of older people, and those with visible or hidden disabilities, must be at the heart of all new modes of transport.”

In response to this Stephen Brookes, Disability Rights UK Ambassador, reminded the Minister of the need to involve disabled people at all stages. Stephen said ”It is a sad reflection that accessibility to public transport and in particular on rail is far too inconsistent.

I'm reminded frequently that while certain major stations and new trains are much improved, most rural and often unmanned stations which are served by older trains are just not useable by disabled and older rail users.” 

Stephen, who is also the government’s appointed Sector Champion for Rail, added “Until we recognise that a one size fits all solution doesn't work for many, particularly those with hidden disabilities, we will see a fragmented transport system.

That is why it is essential that disabled people across the country are involved in design and implementation of new infrastructure and train operation.”