Report calls for safe and accessible streets

Mon,13 March 2023
News Transport

The charity Sustrans and the disabled-led group Transport for All have worked together to explore access and barriers to local streets and make recommendations for change. This work was funded by Motability.

Proposed solutions include:

  • Prohibiting pavement parking to make communities more accessible
  • Creating a long-term dedicated pavement fund to improve and maintain pavements
  • Ensuring Disabled people can be within walking or wheeling distance of services and amenities by creating communities with accessible services close to where people live through better planning.
  • Making wayfinding and journey-planning tools work for Disabled people

Disabled people face greater barriers to travel than non-disabled people, taking  30% fewer walking trips than non-disabled people.

A key reason for this gap is that our streets are often inaccessible and unsafe for Disabled people to navigate. Participants said they do not have equal access as they may walk or wheel more slowly or not be able to walk or wheel as far as non-disabled people. Furthermore, many walking or wheeling routes and destinations are inaccessible, making journey times longer. The report states that transport and urban planners must better consider access needs.

Putting disabled people at the centre of discussions about how we plan and create spaces where we can all move around easily and safely is vital.

The UK government must listen and take action to create places planned around people, not cars. In 2020, the DfT consulted on pavement parking. Three years later, nothing has changed. Everyone is equally entitled to rely on safe and inclusive pavements and now is the time to act.

Stephen Brookes from Disability Rights UK said: “ Access to walking and wheeling in towns and cities needs to be greatly improved, including the quality of pavements, the reduction of obstacles and better signage. Disabled people must live within easy access to services, retail, buses, and trains.  There must also be accessible and affordable public transport services. This report underlines the need for end-to-end accessible journeys, linking walking and wheeling access to public transport. The Walking and Cycling Index found that in 2021,  35% of Disabled people, compared to 21% of non-disabled people, did not have access to a car."

Download the Disabled Citizens' Inquiry report

Text only Copy of Disabled Citizens' Inquiry report