Police in South Yorkshire are carrying out random patrols on buses to ensure those who are not exempt are wearing masks or other face coverings.
Builders of train stations “need to think more about disabled people”, according to a campaigner from Cardiff
I am afraid that no matter what rules and regulations are brought in it will be down to public attitudes and the employees of the public transport operators.
Only today I was waiting for a bus and when it came there were 3 young ladies all with pushchairs, behind them there was an oldish gentleman in an electric wheelchair with his wife and about 3 or 4 other passengers including myself.
The 3 young ladies boarded the bus and proceeded to use all of the wheelchair space. The other 3 passengers also boarded, while I waited for the gentleman in his wheelchair to board, however, the bus driver advised him there was no room. I objected and stated that the wheelchair space should be vacated to allow for the gentleman in his wheelchair to board. the driver was not willing to ask the young ladies to vacate the space and I went and mentioned to the driver that there have been court cases around this which came in favour of the person in the wheelchair. The driver asked me what do you want me to do, ask people to get off the bus, which I said if needs be, yes.
The ladies then vacated most of the space and the gentleman boarded with the drivers assistance into the wheelchair space and his wife went to a seat near by. I would mention that even though the bus was a single deck bus the bus was not even a quarter full, far from it.
I would mention that the gentleman and his wife were of ethnic origin and before I, myself became seated an oldish white lady said ‘I do not know what all the fuss is about for there will be another bus within 5 minutes, this is a very regular bus route. Why, when there was plenty of room on the bus for the young ladies to vacate the wheelchair space, why should the gentleman have to wait any length of time, as there was a guaranteed space for him on the bus. Even if there was limited space the young ladies could have taken their children from the pushchairs and folded the pushchairs to make more space, for this is how it was done, before the wheelchair spaces were created to allow for more equality within public transport. There is still a long way to go for true equality to be achieved.
It is the attitude of the oldish white lady who I was more aggrieved about, as this was a matter of respect, principle and general good manners, for if there had not been campaigns over the years for wheelchair spaces to be provided this space would not have been there and it should be used for the purpose for which it was intended.
Again, discriminations against persons with disabilities, by those who do not appear to respect people with disabilities.
The vacation of these spaces needs to be made legal and while we are at it make provision for more than one space. What would occur if both the gentleman and his wife were both in wheelchairs would one have to go ahead of the other on different buses., again insufficient use of space on transport for persons with disabilities.
Disabled persons do not ask to be disabled, it is not their choice and therefore reasonable adjustments have to be made wherever required and we should all take this on board.
When I left the bus I wished the gentleman and his wife a safe journey and I could see from their facial expressions and good manner that they welcomed my actions.
This is the first time I have done this, as it is the first time I have needed to, but I always said, should the occasion occur then I would act accordingly, for it shows respect to my fellow citizens.
I do hope the gentleman and his wife have had a good day.
When we were all on the bus
Today the Government has published its new Inclusive Transport Strategy, outlining how they intend to make the transport network more accessible for disabled people. This includes over £300 million of funding to deliver the projects they’ve announced.
A positive commitment
The current transport system is set up in a way which deters – or even prevents – many disabled people from using it. The Inclusive Transport Strategy is a strong step in the right direction, dismantling some of the barriers disabled people face. This is not just about adjusting existing infrastructure to make it physically accessible, but tries to put the needs of all disabled passengers at the heart of designing our transport system.
Access for All
Our recent research found 40 per cent of disabled people have difficulty accessing train stations. The biggest announcement in the Strategy is that the Government is reviving the Access for All program, to…
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In 1890, no one foresaw the rise of the internal combustion engine: horses were the fastest means of transport, and a status symbol. Today, society stands at a similar tipping point. No one can really predict how transport will be used in the coming century, or if people will even need to travel as much as they do today. But some of the most commonly used modes of public transport may be closer to extinction than previously thought.
Buses have been a reliable feature of urban and rural landscapes for more than 200 years. They have helped to define communities; think of London’s red double-decker bus, or the iconic Greyhound bus across the US. And buses have traditionally been a great social leveller: ethnic minority groups fought hard for the right to share the same seats and stops and the poor enjoy the same regulated prices as the middle class.
Yet the end of the bus has already been signalled. In the UK, there has been a reported decline in bus and train usage over recent decades – and it’s not related to the nation’s sluggish economy. Today, only 5% of journeys are made by bus, with 10% by rail, 1% by air, 1% by bicycle and 83% by car or taxi.
Source: Buses could be history sooner than you think – here’s why : The Conversation
On Thursday 7 September, staff reportedly stopped a disabled man with a prosthetic leg getting on a Virgin train, because they didn’t believe he was disabled.
Andy Grant is an Afghanistan war veteran who had his leg amputated in 2010, after a blast in the war injured him. But that didn’t seem to matter to Virgin Trains staff and the police.
Grant had just lost his wallet near Euston Station in London, so had lost his bank cards and his disability travel pass. But he did have an E-ticket, and tried to board a Virgin train with this. Grant explained in a Facebook post:
When i activated the ticket to board the train they [Virgin staff] asked to see my railcard. I realised it must be in the cafe so I ran back to the cafe to look for it. It wasn’t there
I ran back and explained that I had lost my wallet. The Virgin staff said ‘tough, You need to go [and buy] another ticket’.
I explained that would be impossible as I don’t have my wallet now.
He was told what?
The member of Virgin staff allegedly then asked Grant:
how do we know you are disabled and have a railcard?
Ralph Nader in an article posted on Tuesday’s Counterpunch took to task the current hype about driverless cars following a day long conference on them at Washington University’s law school.
Driverless cars are being promoted because sales are cars are expected to flatten out due to car-sharing, or even fall as the younger generation are less inclined to buy them. Rather than actually investing in public transport, the car industry is promoting driverless automobiles as a way of stimulating sales again.
Nader is rightly sceptical about how well such vehicles will perform in the real world. There are 250 million motor vehicles in the US. This means that real driving conditions are way more complicated than the simple routes on which these vehicles are developed and tested. And while the car industry claims that they will be safer than human-driven vehicles, the reality is most people won’t want a car…
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By Raya Al Jadir Young disabled people have been abused, threatened and left stranded while using public transport, according to a new report. End Of The Line 2016 follows a nine-month undercover investigation by Trailblazers – a network of 700 young disabled campaigners and their supporters that is run by the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK – and a survey of more than 100 of its members. It comes seven years after a previous report on access to public transport by Trailblazers, and concludes that although “things have improved significantly” there are still “huge strides to be made”, mostly because of a lack of funding and the negative attitudes of transport staff. One disabled passenger was even hospitalised because of a bus’s dangerous design, while others faced abuse and threats from both transport staff and other passengers. The report reveals the “disturbing experiences” of Trailblazers across buses, trains, taxis and London’s tube network, and concludes that their journeys are
The daily commute can be testing for many workers, but disabled travellers often face extra challenges and costs. The BBC followed wheelchair user Jacqui on
Three quarters of wheelchair users and their families and carers can’t travel as independently as they would like to and two in three do not feel confident enough to use public transport, according to a report released by disabled children’s charity Whizz-Kidz.
Despite significant investment in accessibility improvements in recent years, Whizz-Kidz’s Get on Board report finds that three quarters of those surveyed experienced problems while travelling which mean they can’t travel as independently as they would like to.
Barriers in accessing public transport ranged from lack of accessible transport near where respondents live (67%), to being deterred by the attitude of staff (57%) or other passengers (61%).
“This is an issue which significantly impacts on the lives of many young wheelchair users. Because many can’t travel and use transport easily, they are being excluded from employment opportunities. They can find it harder to access health and education services and it’s not as easy for them to meet up with friends or family,” Whizz-Kidz CEO Ruth Owen OBE said.
“When people face these barriers to travel, it not only reduces their opportunities, it can change their aspirations. Our report makes it clear that despite substantial improvements made by a number of transport operators, who are leading the way in terms of disabled travel, we still have some way to go before travel and transport options are truly inclusive for young wheelchair users.
“We’re calling for the wider community, Government and other transport providers to Get on Board and make travel more inclusive. While accessibility has improved, this report highlights that change has not yet fully translated into equality and independence in young wheelchair users’ everyday lives.
“Improving accessibility is a shared responsibility which requires joined-up working with third parties and continued investment from Government to ensure that the network and infrastructure is in place to support operators in the delivery of their services.” Ruth Owen said.
The Whizz-Kidz campaign is calling for:
- Improvements to infrastructure, information and facilities so that the network is more accessible for wheelchair users.
- The general public to respect young wheelchair users’ right to travel so that they do not feel scared to travel alone.
- Regular and meaningful disability awareness training so that staff working in transport have a better understanding of the needs of young wheelchair users, which will support them to best assist young disabled travellers.
- Involvement of young disabled people in the planning, auditing and design of services and policies so that their voices are heard at all levels.
- Representation of young wheelchair users in travel marketing materials so that people can see what young wheelchair users can do, not what they can’t!
To spearhead change, Whizz-Kidz recently formed a national Accessible Travel Alliance – an industry leading group made up of forward-thinking travel operators, to make a real and lasting difference to disabled people’s experience of travel. Alliance partners who have signed up to the Get on Board campaign include Gatwick, Heathrow, National Express, OmniServ, Stagecoach and Transport for London.
“Our Alliance partners are setting the pace for the transport industry and are we’re excited to be collaborating with them on a number of accessible transport projects. Whizz-Kidz is providing them with tailored disability awareness training and input from our young wheelchair users who can’t wait to get stuck in and work together to drive positive change. We’re now challenging other transport and travel companies to follow the example of our Alliance partners,” Ruth Owen said.
You can get involved and pledge your support for more inclusive travel by visiting: www.whizz-kidz.org.uk/getonboard.