A new charter aims to boost consumer confidence and provide an online one-stop shop for passenger rights and complaints procedures for disabled people
The Government has joined with disability charity Scope to develop a new Disabled Persons Passenger Charter for coaches, buses, taxis, private hire vehicles and rail.
Providing an explanation of their rights, the charter aims to improve journeys for disabled people by helping ensure they can travel easily and more confidently. It will bring together a host of information for disabled passengers travelling across England and advice for passengers on what to do when things do not go as expected.
The charter follows last year’s unveiling of the Government’s National Disability Strategy, which included a range of initiatives to improve journeys for disabled people including an accessibility audit of all rail stations, clearer audible and visual announcements on buses, introducing legislation for taxis and private hire vehicles in Parliament and £1 million to improve access at seaports.
Wendy Morton, Accessibility Minister, said: “I am delighted that we will be partnering with Scope to develop a charter for disabled passengers that will help boost confidence across our road and rail network. This practical guide will pull together disabled passengers’ rights so they understand how they can get from A to B with the dignity and ease they deserve.”
Scope research suggests that passengers who travel frequently are faced with a multitude of documents about their rights, which can be unclear. Acting on this feedback, the charter will collate existing information for passengers and centralise it into a coherent and easy-to-use format. Once developed, it will be published online, providing a one-stop shop on passenger rights and complaints procedures.
Mark Hodgkinson, Scope Chief Executive, commented: “We are delighted to work with the Department for Transport to develop a Passenger Charter. Thousands of Scope supporters have backed calls for this vital step towards transforming a system that sometimes makes travel unnecessarily hard, if not impossible, if you are disabled.
“Public transport should be accessible for everyone and this charter will help disabled passengers better understand their rights, the standards they should expect across the network and how to hold providers to account when travel goes wrong.”
As part of its pledge to build back fairer, the Government has also updated its guidelines on the use of tactile paving surfaces and its guide to best practice on access to pedestrian and transport infrastructure. The guidance has been amended following research and stakeholder engagement to include the latest standards. It will support the building of accessible pedestrian and transport infrastructure while making sure that public spaces are open to all.