The consultation invites views on whether transport services should be subject to anti- discrimination legislation; and whether the current exemptions in Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act should be lifted.
- make it unlawful to provide a lower standard of service to disabled people and refuse to provide services on the ground of disability.
- require operators to review working practices, policies and procedures that make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for a disabled person to use transport services.
David Jamieson, transport minister said:
'This consultation is another step in delivering the government's commitment to providing a better quality of life for disabled people.
'It is unacceptable that transport operators can still lawfully deny a person access to a vehicle for no other reason than that person is disabled.
'Whilst this sort of discrimination is becoming rarer, best practice is not universal. Removing the exemption will give disabled people the right to challenge transport operators to improve their services.'
The consultation follows a recommendation from the disability rights task force in their report, 'From Exclusion to Inclusion' and has been issued to the transport industries, disability organisations and other interested bodies. The consultation period runs from 29 November 2002 to 28 February 2003.
1. The Disability Discrimination Act already provides for regulations to be introduced to ensure that disabled people, including wheelchair users, can travel in buses and coaches, trains and taxis. Regulations covering new trains, buses and coaches are already in place.
2. Copies of the consultation paper are available from the Department for Transport's Mobility and Inclusion Unit, 1/18, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, LONDON SW1P 4DR. Tel 020 7944 6100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Copies are available in print, tape and in Braille. A summary version is also available for people with learning disabilities.
3. The disability rights task force report From Exclusion to Inclusionwas published in December 1999.