Public transport access to improve in Scotland
18th November 2014
Current improvements to Scotland’s public transport will continue in order to improve the access to those in rural areas. Although Edinburgh’s new tram has state-of-the-art access, much of the public transport in other areas is inadequate for the elderly or disabled, and buses will be required to meet statutory standards by 2020.
For example, while wheelchair and disabled stairlift users may find a taxi in Pollockshire to be accessible, those in Perth may not find the same services available. A recent study of the statutory equality outcomes found that fewer than half of all Scottish councils made any mention at all of transport accessibility, which explains why many Scots feel public transport is a no-go area.
A need for more accessible transport
Following the ageing population growth, which is expected to see a 28 per cent increase in the number of over 75s by 2022, the lack of accessible transport is likely to become more of a problem, highlighting the importance that it needs to be improved. Those suffering with mobility problems, who use aids such as rise and recline chairs, want to see more action taken in Scotland, as adopted in other parts of the UK.
The Scottish Accessible Transport Alliance has recently published a proposed strategy, which aims to get everyone involved with increasing transport accessibility, including the government, transport operators and community. The plan specifies almost 90 specific actions that SATA believes will help to achieve the goal of providing a decent level of access to transport for all disabled people in Scotland by 2020. This includes improvement of high steps on buses and train stations, support for disabled motorists, information in an accessible form and accommodating transport staff.
Other locations in the UK have begun tackling this problem too, such as Transport for London, who have recently announced a £250 million scheme that will make all stations on the Crossrail project step-free and who launched a new bridge-style ramp at many stations on the London Underground in summer 2014.
Image Credit: Daniel (Flickr.com)
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