Coventry University awarded £20 million to improve access to transport for people with disabilities
The funding will allow Coventry University to create the UK’s first evidence centre, which will look to better understand the ways in which transport can be made more inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities.
Coventry University has announced that it has been tasked to change the face of transport for people with disabilities through a £20 million grant to create the UK’s first evidence centre for accessible and inclusive transport.
The grant has been made available by disability transport charity Motability, whose research1 shows that people with disabilities in the UK currently make 38% fewer journeys than non-disabled people – a figure that hasn’t changed in the last decade. Therefore, this impacts their access to healthcare, employment, education and social activities.
Coventry University’s evidence centre will seek to create change by undertaking applied research and delivering exemplar projects to influence policy and transport providers by demonstrating that accessible transport can be achieved.
The research and agenda will be led by people who have disabilities and will build upon the user-centred approach successfully developed at the university’s National Transport Design Centre (NTDC), where the evidence centre will be based.
With the support of Coventry University and the NTDC, Motability wants to create change and achieve its mission to ensure that people with disabilities are not disadvantaged due to poor access to transport.
Established in May 2017, the NTDC explores the future of transport design and delivers research that guides the design and development of transport systems of the future, working closely with the industry and global car innovators.
Paul Herriotts, Professor of Transport Design in the Centre for Future Transport and Cities at Coventry University, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to lead the evidence centre and look forward to starting this exciting project for which we have great passion. We need to better understand people who have disabilities lived experiences, needs and wants in relation to transport. The funding from Motability enables us to undertake innovative applied research that puts those people impacted with disabilities at the heart of the process. We will look to disabled people to help guide and inform our activities and to help shape the future of public and private transport in the UK.”
Professor Richard Dashwood, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), said: “This is an exciting project to lead and will make a huge impact on the lives of people who have disabilities. Coventry University has already made great strides when it comes to looking at transport design and any issues which arise. We are very proud of the ongoing impactful work we are doing, and it’s important for us to be at the forefront of transport and technological development.”
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