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ROAD CHARGING 'WOULD BENEFIT DISABLED PEOPLE'

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The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) today published a policy statement which sets out their p...
The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) today published a policy statement which sets out their position with regard to road user charging schemes and the effect they have on travel for disabled people. It is intended to give guidance to government, local authorities, private operators and consultants involved in considering, promoting and running such schemes.

The transport secretary, Douglas Alexander, welcomed the statement, saying: 'We welcome this position statement as a contribution to the ongoing debate on a national system of road pricing. We will be working to ensure all projects in this area take the needs of disabled people into account from design onwards.'

Neil Betteridge, chairman of DPTAC, said: 'Our MORI research shows that disabled people simply do not enjoy the same opportunities to use public transport as the rest of the population. They often rely on their own or another person's car.

'Whether on public or private transport, disabled drivers and passengers could enjoy real benefits from the reduced congestion offered by road user charging. But for these to happen, disabled people need to be consulted, there needs to be investment in high quality accessible public transport alternatives before charging begins, and there need to be discounted charges based on exemption from charges for blue badge holders. Road user charging schemes need to recognise the reduced mobility of disabled people and take the opportunity to enhance the quality of service for disabled people.'

DPTAC has published a research report into the attitudes of disabled people to public transport. The research study conducted by MORI questioned nearly 1,000 disabled people to establish the attitudes of disabled people to public transport in England and Wales.

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