Five disabled peers have called on the government to strengthen a new bill to ensure that all new buses have to be fitted with audio-visual announcements. They were taking part in last week’s second Lords reading of the bus services bill, which aims to give local authorities a greater role in providing bus services and improve information for passengers. But the five peers said more needed to be done in the bill to improve the accessibility of buses for disabled people. All new buses will already have to meet accessibility regulations by the end of this year, and government statistics show that 89 per cent of buses in England already do so. But those regulations – which include facilities such as low-floor boarding, visual contrast on step edges, handholds and handrails, priority seats, and spaces for wheelchairs – do not include audio-visual announcements. Baroness Campbell said that access for disabled passengers “remains a major challenge for the bus industry”. She said that
This is so true, my own experience is in respect of my adult daughter in Sheffield where we have found that some black hackney cabs, while proporting to be accessible are not. This is due to door widths not sufficient for some wheelchairs, the height of access as sometimes my daughter as had to tilt her head to oneside to gain access. Even when access is obtained safe clamping of wheelchairs is not possible in that they can only be clamped in a side way position, thereby creating unstabability. To be clamped safely you need to be able to face forwards or backwards. When all is OK the fare is usually 1 plus half of the normal fare.
We now have to rely on Community Transport where we have to book a week in advance and there are time restictions, only Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 4.00pm and only 2 journeys per week.
The Extra Costs Commission, a year-long independent inquiry into the extra costs faced by disabled people, found that disabled people may often experience a number of challenges when using taxis or private hire vehicles (PHVs), including overcharging, poor attitudes from drivers and an overall lack of accessible vehicles.
In this blog, Kelly Perks-Bevington, a twenty-seven year wheelchair user, tells us about her personal experiences of using taxis and PHVs.
As a business woman and someone with extremely “itchy feet”, I travel a lot!
When I am travelling in London, I am kind of limited in that I do have to use taxis to get around because there are certain tube stations that are still inaccessible. When I’m rushing from meeting to meeting, I find it easier to just Google how long a taxi is going to take and then hop in one. There’s less risk and you don’t have…
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With approaching local council and London Mayoral elections, as well as the EU referendum, we want disabled people to have a clear understanding of their voting rights and options.
We know that in the past disabled voters have struggled to cast their ballot. We want to make sure all voters, disabled and non-disabled, have the right to vote independently and in secret. If you are registered to vote, you cannot be refused a ballot paper or the chance to vote on the grounds of mental or physical impairment.
How to vote
Registering to vote
The deadline to register to vote in the London Mayoral and local elections has now passed. If you have registered to vote, you should receive a polling card in the post. You can still register to vote in the upcoming EU referendum on the 23rd June.
You can vote in person at your local…
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Accessibility allow everyone to have access to information and services. The goal is to provide those with disabilities the same opportunities as their normative counterparts. This article explores how accessibility does not have to be a painful, after the fact initiative, if products are designed with accessibility at the start using inclusive design.
This shouldn’t still be happening.
ACCESSIBILITY BEYOND DISABILITIES DISABILITY DISABILITY IS NOT INABILITY PLWD SOCIAL INCLUSIONAbout Gitau
Additional reporting by Raya Al Jadir A civil servant, a Falklands veteran, an inclusive design expert, a festival director and two Paralympians are among disabled people recognised in the latest New Year’s Honours. Among those receiving MBEs is Margaret Hickish, Network Rail’s access and inclusion manager, who is responsible for 19 of Britain’s largest rail stations as well as the organisation’s depots, offices and training centres, and is recognised for services to disabled people. Hickish, who has a background in engineering, played a huge part in ensuring the accessibility of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and has worked in access and inclusion for more than 20 years. She began working as an access consultant with the consortiums that produced the London 2012 “masterplan” in early 2007, before later joining the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) as its accessibility manager. She said she was “absolutely delighted” with the MBE, which she believes recognises the way she