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UK’s Coventry to make public transport more accessible

A taxi driver helps a person with a wheelchair get in a taxi, London
Photo: Dreamstime

The UK’s city of Coventry has developed a new Transport Charter aimed at making public transportation more accessible for riders with disabilities. 

Coventry City Council established the Charter after creating the Disability Equality Action Partnership (DEAP), which consists of the Council, disability organisations, universities, schools and colleges, and individuals with disabilities.

The project wants to hear how regional partners and transport operators currently support people, of all ages, with both visible and invisible disabilities.  And furthermore, how they can improve access, freedom and inclusion to public transportation.

The Transport Charter commits to:  making the public transport system fully inclusive for people with any disability; improving enforcement of priority seating policies; advertising the availability of permit provision for scooters on public transport; and continuing a dialogue with train companies to improve accessibility for passengers who use wheelchairs.

It is not compulsory for transport providers to comply with the charter, however, DEAP hopes that many will see that ensuring residents with disabilities feel comfortable using public transport is beneficial to their business.

The Transport Charter launch comes as Coventry prepares for its year-long programme of activities showcasing its transport and technology innovations after being named the UK’s City of Culture.

The Chair of the DEAP and Transport Charter lead, Councillor Christine Thomas said, “This builds on the success of the Shoppers Charter back in 2019 in making our city a disability friendly place.

“It also goes towards forming part of the Wellbeing for Life ethos and City of Culture 2021.

“It is important that transport operators, regional partners and local people understand the value of the ‘purple pound’, and equally important that disabled persons feel included in the planning of our city.

“By working together we can deliver a fully accessible public transport service that people with disabilities and additional requirements can use with confidence.”

Coventry City Council leader, Councillor George Duggins added, “Peoples with disabilities have been among those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are committed as a council to ensure that the quality of life for these members of our community improves.

“Part of this commitment is working to break down and remove existing barriers and obstacles that many people with disabilities continue to face such as using public transport.”

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