Government outlines plans to make public transport more inclusive


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

Scope's Blog

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…

View original post 498 more words

Google Maps is finally getting more wheelchair friendly | DisabledGo News and Blog


After a little bit of pushing, Google have finally listened to wheelchair users across the country. Belinda Bradley started a petition to get Google to create wheelchair friendly maps after struggling to travel with her mum Mary, who uses wheelchairs for long journeys, around London. Google have now launched a new initiative called Local Guides to encourage people to update locations around the world with new, detailed information about accessibility. From now on, Maps users will be able to answer five simple questions about a site, such as ‘Is there a wheelchair-accessible entrance?’, and the answers will be visible in the Map results afterwards. Though Maps begun including accessibility information for specific locations last year, the new campaign has now been extended to the general public. Belinda Bradley, who is currently studying Creative Writing and Theatre studies at the University of Roehampton, welcomed the changes. She said: ‘The efforts they are making with the local g

Source: Google Maps is finally getting more wheelchair friendly | DisabledGo News and Blog

Wheelchair users stage GENIUS mass protest against drivers who steal disabled bays | Evolve Politics


In an inspired act of protest against their rights being perpetually disrespected, disabled activists in Portugal have taken matters into their own hands.

Source: Wheelchair users stage GENIUS mass protest against drivers who steal disabled bays | Evolve Politics

Wheelchair users forced to abandon UK summer holiday plans, says Muscular Dystrophy UK | DisabledGo News and Blog


Many major tourist destinations, must-see sights and visitor hot spots are off limits to disabled travellers because many hotels, including some big hotel

Source: Wheelchair users forced to abandon UK summer holiday plans, says Muscular Dystrophy UK | DisabledGo News and Blog

Councils ‘should be shamed into action’ on taxi access laws | DisabledGo News and Blog


A disability activist has called on disabled people to shame their local councils into action, after his research showed more than a quarter had no plans to take one simple step that would protect wheelchair-users who use taxis from discrimination. On 6 April, the government finally brought into force legislation that imposes fines of up to £1,000 on drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles who refuse to accept wheelchair-users, try to charge them extra, or fail to provide them with appropriate assistance. But the new laws only apply in those areas of England, Scotland and Wales where the local authority has drawn up a list – under section 167 of the Equality Act – of all the wheelchair-accessible taxis and private hire vehicles in their area. The government has been encouraging councils to start drawing up such lists for the last seven years. But three months of research* by disabled campaigner Doug Paulley – including freedom of information requests sent to all 366 licensing

Source: Councils ‘should be shamed into action’ on taxi access laws | DisabledGo News and Blog

When will our politics start to address young disabled people? | Frances Ryan | Opinion | The Guardian


Youth were enthused by last week’s general election, but having a disability means you feel even more excluded than other young people do. We need to be part of the conversation

Source: When will our politics start to address young disabled people? | Frances Ryan | Opinion | The Guardian

Peer pressure sees minister finally announce date for taxi access laws | DisabledGo News and Blog


The government has finally announced the date when it will bring into force regulations that will ban taxi drivers from discriminating against wheelchair-users, more than 20 years after they were first included in legislation. From 6 April, taxi and private hire vehicle drivers will face a fine of up to £1,000 if they refuse to accept wheelchair-users, try to charge them extra, or fail to provide them with appropriate assistance. The announcement has been seen as a success for a committee of peers that called for the move last year. Successive Labour, coalition and Conservative governments have refused to bring the measures into force, since they were included in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, and then incorporated into the Equality Act 2010. But the Equality Act 2010 and disability committee, which included several disabled peers among its members, and reported last March on the impact of equality laws on disabled people, called in its report for the measures to be implemented.

Source: Peer pressure sees minister finally announce date for taxi access laws | DisabledGo News and Blog

WheelPower launch national survey – #TalkAboutTakingPart


Same Difference

A press release:
WheelPower, the national organisation for wheelchair sport today, Tuesday 9 February 2016, launch the ‘Talk About Taking Part’ survey to find out what can be done to help more wheelchair users live lead healthy active lives and take part in sport.

Disabled people who use a wheelchair in everyday life, or who would use one for sport, are urged to complete the survey.  We are keen to find the views of those who don’t take part in any sport as well as people who already lead active lives. The survey aims to find to what extent wheelchair users are involved in sports and physical activities, and to understand any barriers to participation. It will guide WheelPower’s strategy and put access and inclusion as a priority for national sporting bodies.

WheelPower’s National Sport Director Chris Turner said “We’re looking forward to finding out what wheelchair users want from…

View original post 147 more words

Transport needs to be more inclusive for wheelchair users


 

 

 

 

 

Original post from Disabled Go News

whizz-kids-get-on-board

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.

Roisin Norris

Hi I’m Roisin Norris, Digital Marketing Executive at DisabledGo and I will be uploading blogs and news for you all to read.

More posts from author   ………’