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DisAbility On Public Transport

May 12, 2009

This is not a topic that I know much about. My DisAbility means that I can’t take public transport by myself, so I usually travel by car. Still, having an interest in statistics, this information at the BBC Ouch blog caught my attention.

Trailblazers, an organisazion for young DisAbled and able bodied campaigners aged 16-30, recently carried out an undercover investigation called End of the Line.

To compile the report, over 100 young disabled people from all over the United Kingdom spent the past three months going undercover on the nation’s public transport system. Between them, they racked up over 200 journeys. But what did they discover? These are some of the key findings:

• Wheelchair users pay more to use public transport than non-disabled people, because of a lack of choice in accesible transport.

•On the railways, over half the stations used lacked basic disabled facilities; the same was true on board the trains.

• On a third of bus journeys, the mystery commuter was unable to board the first bus which arrived at the bus stop.

• Two out of five of the young disabled people involved in the investigation were forced to pay more to use a wheelchair accessible taxi, compared with their non-disabled counterparts.

The full report was presented to MPs at the House of Commons last week, and the young campaigners called on the Government, local authorities and transport providers to review their accessibility policies.

As I said, I don’t have much experience in this area. So, to anyone who reads this and uses public transport in England, whether you are DisAbled or able bodied, please share your experiences with me. Do these findings reflect them?

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