Coventry University launches £20 million National Centre for Accessible Transport

Posted: 16 February 2023 | | No comments yet

Coventry University’s National Centre for Accessible Transport aims to improve transport accessibility for disabled people in the UK by amplifying their voices in decision-making, co-designing solutions and influencing policy.

Coventry University launches £20 million National Centre for accessible transport

Credit: Coventry University

Coventry University has announced that it has launched the National Centre for Accessible Transport (NCAT) with the aim to make future and existing modes of transport accessible to all.

A UK first in inclusive transport, NCAT is a £20 million project funded by the charity Motability and is led by Professor Paul Herriotts, based at the university’s National Transport Design Centre (NTDC), working alongside a number of organisations that form a specialist consortium.

Consortium members include Connected Places Catapult, Designability, Policy Connect, Research Institute for Disabled Consumers and WSP.

NCAT’s research and agenda will be led by people with disabilities and will build upon the user-centred approach that has successfully been developed at NTDC. The centre aims to make transport accessible for all by engaging with disabled people to better understand their experiences and co-design solutions; amplifying the voices of disabled people in all decision making; collaborating widely with transport stakeholders; and demonstrating good practice and impact to influence policy, with innovation at the heart of its work.

Coventry University awarded £20 million to improve access to transport for people with disabilities

“It is vital that we listen to what disabled people have to say about their experiences of public and private transport and use this information to change the future of travel. NCAT will use research and insights to influence key decision makers in the transport sector and local and national government to ensure that the way disabled people travel and get from one place to another is made much easier.” Professor Paul Herriotts

Motability’s research shows that disabled people in the UK currently make 38% fewer journeys than non-disabled people – a figure that hasn’t changed in the last decade. This impacts disabled people’s access to healthcare, employment, education and social activities.

“When there are barriers to using transport, it really can impact your self-esteem. There is a lot more planning that disabled people have to do to travel, which can be stressful and sometimes you really have to weigh up whether the journey is worth it. I feel so privileged to be helping this project, a centre like this is really needed,” Stephanie McPherson-Brown, PhD student with Coventry University.

“We know that being unable to make the journeys they want or need to, has a huge impact on disabled people’s daily lives and more needs to be done to help make transport inclusive. I look forward to seeing the positive and meaningful changes the centre will make by working with disabled people, disabled people’s organisations, transport providers and policy makers to make transport accessible for everyone,” Rachael Badger, Director of Performance and Engagement at Motability.