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Coventry University gets £20M to improve transport for persons with disabilities

Back view of man in his electric wheelchair at underground platform waiting for train with motion blur of passing train in the background

Coventry University has been tasked with helping to change the face of transport for people with disabilities through a £20 million grant to create the UK’s first evidence centre for accessible and inclusive transport.

The grant has been made available by disability transport charity Motability, whose research shows that disabled people in the UK currently make 38% fewer journeys than non-disabled people – a figure that hasn’t changed in the last decade. This impacts disabled people’s access to healthcare, employment, education and social activities.

The evidence centre will seek to create change by undertaking applied research and delivering exemplar projects to influence policy and transport providers by demonstrating that accessible transport can be achieved.

The research and agenda will be led by people who have disabilities and will build upon the user-centred approach successfully developed at the university’s National Transport Design Centre (NTDC), where the evidence centre will be based.

“We need to better understand people who have disabilities lived experiences, needs, and wants in relation to transport. The funding from Motability enables us to undertake innovative applied research that puts those people impacted with disabilities at the heart of the process. We will look to disabled people to help guide and inform our activities and to help shape the future of public and private transport in the UK.” Said Paul Herriotts, Professor of Transport Design in the Centre for Future Transport and Cities at Coventry University

“This is an exciting project to lead and will make a huge impact on the lives of people who have disabilities. Coventry University has already made great strides when it comes to looking at transport design and any issues which arise. We are very proud of the ongoing impactful work we are doing, and it’s important for us to be at the forefront of transport and technological development.”  said Professor Richard Dashwood, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research)

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