‘It’s everyone’s journey’ launched by the DfT

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that he is accelerating progress to make the UK a world leader for accessible travel as a new Government campaign launches to improve the journeys of disabled passengers on public transport

The Department for Transport has launched the ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ advertising campaign to highlight how we can all play a part in making public transport inclusive. The campaign is being supported by more than 100 partners, including FirstGroup, WHSmith Travel and the Alzheimer’s Society.

One in four disabled people are reported as saying the attitudes of other passengers prevent them from using public transport. The campaign will encourage everyone to reflect on how common, often unconscious, behaviours can impact others and what we can all do to create a more considerate environment for passengers.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. UK PARLIAMENT

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “I want our transport system to be the best in the world for disabled people, but we still have a long way to go. Our ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ campaign highlights that we can all play a part in making transport more accessible for disabled people. Because I believe we should all be making a determined effort to make public transport accessible to everyone, and I am committed to accelerating the pace of change.

“We are launching a new scheme to recognise those transport operators which are getting it right and will work quickly to implement recommendations from the upcoming Keith Williams Review to improve rail accessibility.”

Department for Transport research has shown that behaviours that make public transport a daunting place for disabled people are often unconscious, such as not looking out for a fellow passenger who might need a seat or be in distress.

The ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ campaign is intended to raise awareness about the needs of disabled people when using public transport, particularly people with non-visible impairments, and also to prompt members of the public to think and consider how their behaviour might impact others.

Combatting barriers to public transport is also one of the key parts of the Government’s Loneliness Strategy.

John Birtwistle, Head of Policy at FirstGroup, said: “FirstGroup is particularly proud to be a partner in the launch of ‘it’s everyone’s journey.’ For many years we have sought to improve our services to reflect the needs of travellers with disabilities and to overcome barriers to use of public transport. We will continue to encourage every one of our customers to be considerate to both their fellow travellers, and to our drivers who do a great job under difficult conditions, and we welcome this wide reaching national campaign.”

Alongside this, the Department is launching its Inclusive Transport Leaders scheme, an accreditation scheme which will encourage, celebrate and promote best practice in inclusive transport. Operators are encouraged to sign up to the Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme, to be recognised for the positive actions they are taking to improve disabled passengers’ experiences on public transport, and to encourage others to follow their lead.

They can work towards one of three accreditation levels ‘Committed’, ‘Operator’ or ‘Leader’ by meeting designated criteria and publicly declaring the steps they have taken to improve the travelling experiences of disabled passengers, older people, and those with reduced mobility. These improvements form part of the wider Inclusive Transport Strategy and supports the Government’s ambition of achieving equal access for all on public transport.

CPT Chief Executive, Graham Vidler, said: “CPT is delighted to be partnering with the Department for Transport on ‘it’s everyone’s journey’. Passengers want to help each other make their journeys by bus but might be unsure about how they can help, and this campaign provides advice on how we can be mindful of other travellers and what we can do when we recognise that someone might need additional support.

“It’s great to see so many organisations across the transport sector supporting this campaign and showing a real commitment to making public transport accessible and inclusive for everyone, recognising that it really is everyone’s journey.”

The CPT will be supporting the campaign’s launch week via its Twitter account @CPT_UK using the official campaign hashtag #ItsEveryonesJourney. CPT will also be sharing tips on how people can travel more mindfully.