The Department for Transport is to invest up to £300 million to make Britain’s travel network more fully inclusive and disabled-friendly, under the Inclusive Transport Strategy (ITS).
Investments will include £2 million to install Changing Places toilets at motorway service stations. These are loos that are more accessible than regular disabled toilets and include features such as:
- Tracking hoist system
- Adult-sized changing bench
- Enough space for the disabled person and two carers
- Centrally-placed toilet with room either side
- A screen to allow some privacy
Other forms of transport will also be invested in: £2 million will help install audio and visual equipment on buses, so passengers will know where and when to alight.
Railway stations will be made more accessible, with extensive step-free access, and there will be an accreditation scheme for transport operators to recognise positive work in helping disabled passengers.
Transport accessibility minister Nusrat Ghani said that one in five people in Britain has some form of disability and “access to transport can be far from straightforward.
“This Inclusive Transport Strategy is the first step in achieving a genuinely inclusive transport network, which meets the needs of all people, regardless of whether they are disabled or not.”
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Keith Richard is chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee and welcomed both the report and government commitments to better meeting the needs of disabled people.
“Our role, as independent statutory adviser, is to offer advice as the ITS is delivered. As a ‘critical friend’, we will hold the government to account for delivering the strategy and securing good outcomes for disabled people.”
The government’s aim is to make Britain’s transport network fully accessible to all by 2030.