UK Transport Committee investigates accessibility laws for disabled people

Posted: 7 June 2023 | | No comments yet

The UK Transport Committee has examined evidence on inadequate accessibility laws and is now calling for reforms in the transport sector to better support people with disabilities and those with access needs.

UK Transport Committee investigates inadequate accessibility laws for disabled people

The UK Transport Committee has unveiled crucial written evidence it has received as part of its inquiry into the laws and regulations governing access to transport for disabled individuals and those with other access needs.

A total of 72 organisations and individuals, including prominent entities like Transport for All, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety and Wheels for Wellbeing, have submitted their evidence. Interested parties can now access and review these submissions on the official website of the committee.

The evidence sheds light on various aspects outlined in the inquiry’s terms of reference, consistently exposing the insufficient accessibility prevalent across the transportation sector. The submissions emphasise the urgent need to update regulations to accommodate modern travel methods and equipment. Furthermore, they highlight the lack of enforcement of accessibility legislation, frequent violations of the Equality Act and confusion surrounding the rules governing the provision of accessible transport.

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of individuals with accessibility needs while using transportation services and their struggles to file complaints or seek remedies, the cross-party committee has initiated a survey. A summary of the survey results will be released prior to the first oral evidence session, which is scheduled to take place in the near future.

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Iain Stewart MP, Chair of the Transport Committee, said: “The huge amount of written evidence we received on accessible transport has made it clear that current legislation doesn’t do enough to support disabled people who need to safely use buses, trains or even pavements to get around and live their lives. Many people are denied the ability to travel as easily as they should and end up avoiding going out altogether, causing them to miss out on socialising and work opportunities.

“The evidence has also shown the importance of our inquiry investigating legal obligations and enforcement of accessible transport legislation. Currently, the enforcement of accessibility rules and laws is inadequate, and passengers shouldn’t shoulder the expensive and stressful burden of bringing court action against operators when they are mistreated.”

The Transport Committee’s investigation aims to address the urgent issues highlighted in the evidence submissions and propose substantial reforms that will enhance accessibility and enforceability within the transport sector.