The UK Government is working with disability charity Scope to deliver a new Disabled Persons Passenger Charter.
The charter sets out disabled passengers’ rights regarding rail, bus, coach, taxi and private hire use.
Passengers will get a range of information for travelling across England and, crucially, be given guidance on what to do if things do not go as expected.
This new Charter will follow last year’s unveiling of the Government’s National Disability Strategy – 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 £1million to improve access at sea ports.
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’s research suggests passengers who travel frequently are faced with a multitude of documents about their rights, which can be unclear. Following up on this feedback, the charter will collate existing information for passengers and centralise it into one 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, said: “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 today also updated its Use of tactile paving surfaces and 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.
The government said it is committed to making the transport network more inclusive and to making travel easier for disabled people. It has also published the first evaluation report of progress against its Inclusive Transport Strategy.