Creating a fairer Britain
With financial support provided through Dorset County Council, a local group for people with learning difficulties, SPOT, designed and purchased a quantity of brightly coloured wallets. These can easily be seen by bus drivers to signal to them that the passenger may require assistance. They contain journey information to help the holder communicate with the driver. The scheme will be extended to other forms of transport such as railways and taxis, and it could be distributed to other groups whose members experience mobility difficulties.
South Ayrshire Council worked with Ayr College on a disability awareness module that is now part of the Taxi Drivers Course. Prospective taxi drivers must successfully complete this module in order to gain a license. South Ayrshire public transport users also have the option to complain to the Council if the service they receive is deemed inadequate.
Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (formally GMPTE but now known as Transport for Greater Manchester) has widened its Disability Equality Scheme to include the involvement of disabled people when planning transport for the area. GMPTE involved disabled people in its project to extend its Metrolink light rail network by establishing a Disability Design Reference Group (DDRG). The DRRG comprises disabled people who have contributed to the design consultation process for the Metrolink expansion. GMPTE commissioned a voluntary organisation with expertise in community participation and disability issues to manage recruitment and facilitation of the DDRG.
Honest communication between Metrolink and the DRRG contributed to the success of the group with DRRG members receiving feedback on their personal impact.
"I never thought, after the first couple of meetings (when I saw the quality of the discussions) that we were being ignored or just ticking boxes. I always thought that they were listening to every word and gave a proper considered answer to everything... Yes, I always thought we were having an effect." - Member of the Disability Design Reference Group, Metrolink expansion.
Following GMPTE’s efforts to develop its Disability Equality Scheme, public transport services have become more accessible for disabled people in the region. For example, there has been an increase in the availability of door to door transport services and improvements have been made to GMPTE’s website to provide more accessible information aimed at meeting the needs of disabled people. Involvement of disabled people on the Metrolink expansion has helped shape design of signs, ramps, pathways and lifts, and safety procedures for disabled people.