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TRANSPORT THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCERN OF DISABLED PEOPLE

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For nearly half of disabled people (48%) transport is the most ...
For nearly half of disabled people (48%) transport is the most

important local concern but only a fifth (21%) believe those

responsible for transport planning and development give about the

right amount of attention to disabled people, according to a report

published today by the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee

(DPTAC).

'Attitudes of Disabled People to Public Transport in England and

Wales' is the first such survey by DPTAC, the government's statutory

advisors on the transport needs of disabled people, and is possibly

the largest survey dedicated to the attitudes of disabled people to

transport in England and Wales.

The research study undertaken by MORI questioned 989 disabled people

across England and Wales to establish their attitudes to public

transport.

DPTAC chair Jane Wilmot said:

'There is a clear message to government from this research,

confirming that disabled people experience significant difficulties

with transport, but that they expect these issues to be addressed at

the earliest possible opportunity. DPTAC will use the findings of

this survey to inform its advice to government on ensuring access

issues arising from the more commonly recognised forms of disability

are mainstreamed in transport provision.'

Although the report identifies that disabled people currently travel

a third less often than the general public, around half say

improvements to public transport would have a positive impact on

their quality of life (47%). Taxis and minicabs are used much more

frequently by disabled people (67% more), as well as buses (around

20% more) than non-disabled people.

Disabled people have high expectations for the future public

transport system and will use improved services. Two thirds of

disabled people (65%) were dissatisfied with pavement maintenance, of

which half were very dissatisfied. However, around half say they

would go out more if improvements were made to walking conditions

(48%).

Disabled people also expect consideration of their needs to be

factored into the design of public transport vehicles and services

(49%) but despite this 26% think easy to use buses will not be

available until 2015.

The survey has many interesting findings for DPTAC and the government

to consider, providing an important snapshot of disabled peoples

attitudes to mainstream public transport. It was undertaken to

coincide with the launch of the DPTAC Annual Report, also published

today, which sets out the key achievements of DPTAC and other

important developments contributing to a more inclusive transport

system and built environment for everyone.

Writing in the introduction Jane Wilmot said:

'We had been considering ways to promote the needs of disabled people

and share DPTAC advice on best practice with disabled people and

industry. One solution introduced last year was our own dedicated web

site.'

Both the survey and Annual Report are now available on the website .

Notes

1.The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) was

set up under the Transport Act 1985 to advise the government on the

transport needs of all disabled people. DPTAC provides expert

advice to government and undertakes independent research on the

transport needs of disabled people with the aim ensuring disabled

people have the same opportunities for travel as non-disabled

people.

2. Jane Wilmot was appointed chair of DPTAC in 1999. The

committee has a maximum of 20 members (of whom at least half must

themselves be disabled), representing a wide range of transport and

built environment interests. Members are appointed by ministers and

are unpaid, apart from the reimbursement of expenses.

3. MORI have extensive experience in conducting large scale

quantitative studies of transport and disability related issues.

MORI interviewed 989 disabled people aged 16+. All interviews were

conducted face-to-face throughout England and Wales between 19

November 2001 and 6 January 2002 in 100 constituency-based sampling

points. Data was weighted by disability, working status and region.

Copies of the questionnaire are included in the report. More

information on MORI is available from MORI, 79-81 Borough Road,

London, SE1 1FY or www.mori.com

4. Under Section 125(6) of the Transport Act 1985, DPTAC is

required to make an annual report to the secretary of state and

also requires the secretary of state to lay copies of DPTAC's

Annual Report before each house of parliament.

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