Removing barriers to accessibility for disabled and reduced mobility by riz74952

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									                                             Removing barriers to
                                             accessibility for disabled and
                                             reduced mobility people to the
                                             South East England’s transport
                                             networks

                                             Final report




Issue and Revision Record
  Rev                 Date            Originator            Checker             Approver           Description
   D              April 2008         K. Schofield            J.Rider              J Rider          Final report




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                                                                                                                    1
2
Contents
Executive summary                                                         4

1     Introduction                                                        13

2     What is accessibility?                                              15
      2.1   Definition of accessibility                                   15
      2.2   Definition of disability                                      16
      2.3   A wider application of accessibility                          17

3     The rationale for improving accessibility                           18
      3.1    The legislative agenda                                       18
      3.2    Meeting the needs of disabled and reduced mobility people    20
      3.3    The economic imperative                                      21
      3.4    The Olympic and Paralympic agenda                            23

4     Developments in the public transport industry                       26
      4.1   Rail                                                          26
      4.2   Buses                                                         29
      4.3   Good practice examples                                        30

5     Accessibility in the South East                                     36
      5.1   Characteristics of the region                                 36
      5.2   The accessibility agenda in the South East                    37
      5.3   Responding to the 2012 agenda                                 39
      5.4   Local good practice                                           41
      5.5   Tourism in the South East                                     43

6     Mapping transport accessibility in the South East                   45
      6.1   Rail station accessibility                                    45
      6.2   Bus service accessibility                                     48
      6.3   The overall picture                                           53
      6.4   Accessibility of key transport hubs                           55
      6.5   The wider implications                                        56

7     Barriers to public transport accessibility                          58
      7.1    Barriers for people with disabilities and reduced mobility   58
      7.2    Barriers for transport operators                             61

8     Challenges, actions and recommendations                             63
      8.1   The challenges ahead                                          63
      8.2   Action Plan                                                   64
      8.3   The way forward                                               73
      8.4   Concluding observations and further research                  74


Appendix A – Workshop attendees and consultees                            76

Appendix B – Accessible transport services by local transport authority   78

Appendix C – Accessibility at the South East’s key transport hubs         98




                                                                               3
  Executive summary

  What do we mean by accessibility?

                       A.1 The term ‘accessibility’ refers to the ability of people to
                       access places or services. A fairly widespread tendency has
                       developed to assess accessibility through mapping the proximity of
                       people to these services and form a judgement solely on the basis
                       of geography. Attempts to measure how easily people can actually
                       make use of the logistical and social infrastructure once they get
                       there are not as routinely undertaken.
In this study
accessibility refers
to the ability of      A.2 This study recognises that even when services and transport
disabled and           links are near by, if the facilities aren’t adapted to accommodate
reduced mobility       those with disabilities or mobility difficulties, accessibility is still,
people to use public   by definition, low.
transport services

                       A.3 The report also asserts that accessibility should be
                       understood and applied in its widest sense. Disabled people are not
                       a homogenous group and this diversity should be appreciated. In
                       addition accessibility applies not only to those with disabilities, but
                       also to a broad cross section of society, including older people or
                       those with small children, luggage or older people.

  Why is accessibility important?
                       A.4 There are numerous reasons why accessibility is important.
                       These are summarised below:
                       •   Accessibility is a key feature of the Government’s agenda. A
Access                     particular watershed occurred in 1995 when the Disability
improvements are           Discrimination Act was passed, placing a responsibility on
being driven by            transport providers to ensure their vehicles were designed to
legislation, demand        meet the needs of disabled passengers. Regulations were
and commercial
incentives
                           tightened in 2005 when all transport services became subject to
                           the provisions of the Act.
                       •   There is considerable latent desire and demand amongst people
                           with disabilities who, at present, travel a third less often than
                           the general public.
                       •   There are commercial opportunities to be realised, for both the
                           transport and tourism industries, through offering more
                           accessible journeys. It is estimated that the provisions of the
                           DDA 1995 cover approximately 11.7 million people, which
The Olympic and
                           represents considerable potential market.
Paralympic Games       •   The forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will
provide further
incentive to make          be held in London in 2012 add extra weight to the need to
public transport           improve access. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is
accessibility              committed to easing travel to and around the Olympic park
progress                   through incorporating accessibility principles into design from
                           the outset.




                                                                                              4
The importance of accessibility to the South East region
                                      A.5 The Regional Assembly and the wider Regional Transport
There is                              Board recognise that public transport accessibility is a fundamental
commitment to                         factor affecting travel choice and, therefore, is a key jigsaw piece in
improving regional                    the achievement of the overall regional strategy and encouraging
accessibility                         alternative modes of transport to the private car.

                                      A.6 Enhancing accessibility is also a priority for the region’s
                                      tourism industry. It is integral to the achievement of Tourism South
                                      East’s (TSE) own revenue targets, which are particularly high due
                                      to the prospect of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Whilst
                                      ensuring that venues and attractions play their part in making
                                      access easier for disabled customers, TSE also wants to see both
                                      real and perceived barriers to public transport broken down.

                                      A.7 The South East also has much to gain from the Olympic and
The South East will
play a key part in
                                      Paralympic Games in 2012; the region is in a unique position to
securing an                           play a significant role in delivering the Games due to its proximity
effective transport                   to London, its position as a global gateway and its internationally
system for the                        competitive regional economy. The capabilities of the public
Games                                 transport network to accommodate all abilities and ages will be
                                      crucial in capitalising on the opportunities afforded by 2012.

Industry progress towards to accessibility
                                      A.8 Both rail and bus operators have a responsibility to make
Operators are                         progress towards the Rail Vehicles Accessibility Regulations and
responding to their                   the Public Service Vehicles Regulations respectively, and they are
statutory
responsibilities                      doing so. Some key areas of progress include:
                                      • Within the bus industry, some operators and local authorities
                                          have established Quality Bus Partnerships, under which
                                          reciprocal commitments to improving service provision are
                                          being made.
                                      • Since 2006 the rail industry has been operating in accordance
                                          with a ‘Train and station services for disabled passengers – a
                                          Code of Practice’1 and have each had in place a Disabled
                                          People’s Protection Policy (DPPP). Both of these now look set
                                          to be strengthened as they are being revised to accord with
                                          forthcoming the European Specification - ‘Technical
                                          Specification for Interoperability: Persons with Reduced
                                          Mobility’ (PRM TSI).
                                      • The Government has a dedicated ‘Access for All’ programme,
                                          under which £35 million of funding per year has been ring-
                                          fenced until 2015, which will be used to tackle the difficulties
Government funds                          faced by disabled passengers. 22 stations in the South East will
have been ring-                           benefit from this. In addition, a further 19 stations will have
fenced to improve                         access to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) ‘Small Scheme
station and train
facilities                                Fund’ in 2008-09 to make improvements to local station
                                          facilities.




1
    SRA (2006): ‘Train and station services for disabled passengers – a Code of Practice’.



                                                                                                           5
Current South East accessibility of trains and bus services
                                     A.9 In terms of the accessibility of the existing rail network in the
Overall                              South East, this study has highlighted the following:
accessibility of rail
stations in the
                                     •    Of the 426 stations mapped for this study 43 (10%) are fully
South East remains
poor …                                    accessible (where all platforms are step free and staff are
                                          always available to help).
                                     •    189 (44%) are partially accessible (all platforms are step free
                                          but staff are not always on duty to assist)
                                     •    195 (46%) remain inaccessible to disabled and reduced
                                          mobility passengers (some or all stations have step access and
… however, access                         staff are not always available to assist)
facilities at key
transport hubs                       •    One positive discovery, emerging from this research is that all
tends to be good                          but five of the 19 key transport hubs studies and interchanges
                                          have fully accessible rail stations.

                                     A.10 The table below presents the findings of the research into bus
                                     service accessibility2.

  Local authority                 Number of accessible buses                        Number of accessible routes
Bracknell Forest              100% of fleet will be low-floor; 60%               Unknown3
                              will be fully accessible (from May
                              2008)
Brighton and Hove             195                                                24
Buckinghamshire               64 (65 from April 2008)                            37
East Sussex                   21                                                 Unknown
Hampshire                     170                                                23
Isle of Wight                 31                                                 3
Kent                          657 (Arriva only)                                  242 (Arriva only)
                                                                                 16 (Stagecoach East Kent)
Medway                        100 plus                                           Unknown
Milton Keynes                 51                                                 13
Oxfordshire                   170 (100% fleet - Stagecoach only)                 144
Portsmouth                    Unknown                                            3
Reading                       All of Reading Buses fleet will be                 All Reading Bus services – 46
                              accessible from 25th February 2008
Slough                        100% of fleet (from May 2008)                      16 (100% of First services from May
                                                                                 2008)
Southampton                   Uni-link: 100% of vehicles; First:                 7 (4 Uni-link services, 3 Solent Blue
                              50%; Solent Blue Line: 50% of                      Line); First cannot yet guarantee
                              vehicles (97)                                      100% accessible vehicles on routes
Surrey                        325                                                111
West Berkshire                25                                                 Unknown
West Sussex                   Arriva: 19 (Arriva –only have 1                    Arriva: all when last stepped bus
                              remaining inaccessible vehicle in                  replaced; B&H Buses: 5; Stagecoach:
                              their fleet); Stagecoach: 71                       9
Windsor and                   Courtney Coaches: 9; White Bus: 1;                 Courtney Coaches: 4
Maidenhead                    First – 100% from May 2008                         First: 9 (100% from May 2008)
Wokingham                     100% of fleet will be low-floor; 60%               Unknown
                              will be fully accessible (from May
                              2008)


2
  An important number of caveats should be borne in mind when assessing this profile of bus services. For example, frequency of
services has not been considered. In addition, the information presented refers only to low floor buses – these are not necessarily
DDA compliant as their usability for all types of disability groups cannot be guaranteed.
3
  Where the number of accessible routes is unknown this often means that some operators cannot guarantee that all buses on
certain routes are fully accessible (even though it may usually be the case).



                                                                                                                                 6
The overall picture
                                     A.11 The map below highlights where in the region particular
                                     progress in accessibility has been made, whilst also revealing
                                     where facilities are lacking4. It can be observed that the two
                                     authorities comprising the southern belt around Greater London,
                                     Kent and Surrey, offer a higher proportion of accessible bus
                                     services and also house a total 13 (30%) of the region’s accessible
                                     stations. To the north and west of the region, most authorities
Accessibility                        (Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, Reading,
standards vary                       and Slough) are generally characterised with a reasonable level of
considerably across                  accessible bus routes, although are served less well by rail.
the region
                                     Between them the five authorities contain only seven accessible
                                     stations (only 16% of the South East total).

                                     A.12 Standing out as having lower transport accessibility are
                                     Buckinghamshire and Hampshire which, proportional to their size
                                     and population, have clear gaps in terms of both bus and train
                                     accessibility. Whilst hub locations are well served, rural areas are
                                     less able to accommodate disabled passengers. Overall, both
                                     counties have relatively low percentages of accessible bus services
                                     and a combined total of only six (14% of the regional total) fully
                                     accessible rail stations.




4
  To present a clear picture of accessibility at a more local level across the South East, the bus and rail data has been combined
and presented at county level. These overview maps can be found in Appendix B of this report.



                                                                                                                                     7
8
Accessibility at the key South East transport hubs
                                     A.13 A detailed examination of 19 transport hubs, which were
                                     chosen due to their importance as a transport interchange, their
                                     inclusion in 2012 plans or their primacy as a tourism location, is
                                     also provided in the report (Appendix C).

                                     A.14 The findings from this analysis are summarised below.
                                     • Train station accessibility is generally good at the key
                                        transport hub locations. Only Canterbury West, Maidstone
                                        (both East and West), Newhaven, Slough and Windsor and
                                        Eton Riverside are unable to offer completely accessible
Rail stations tend                      platforms. The fact that Slough and Windsor and Eton are not
to offer better                         able to offer accessible rail services is significant as they will
facilities than bus                     need to act as key transport hubs when Olympic events are held
services at the key
                                        at Eton Dorney in 2012.
transport hubs.
                                     • Bus services at hub venues fair less well. Brighton and Hove,
                                        Guildford, High Wycombe, Oxford and Reading stand out as
                                        having a relatively high level of accessible services. However,
                                        many of the key transport hub locations have fewer than five
                                        routes that can be guaranteed as being accessible.
                                     • Where accessible bus services do exist, they often do not
                                        run via the railway station. Only Milton Keynes5, Oxford and
                                        Reading can be considered as having good bus/train
                                        interchanges. It is worth noting, however, that in Dover,
                                        Portsmouth and Southampton accessible connecting buses run
                                        between the train station and the port. This will certainly act as
                                        a considerable aid to mobility.

Barriers to accessibility
                                     A.15 Research was undertaken to develop a clear understanding of
                                     the difficulties that are faced by people with reduced mobility when
                                     trying the use the existing public transport system. The main
                                     obstacles identified are summarised below:
                                     • The lack of readily available, accurate and reliable
                                         information – which cultivates neither confidence nor trust
                                         amongst disabled groups about being able to use public
                                         transport without experiencing impediments.
                                     • The lack of flexibility that public transport affords – those
                                         with disabilities or reduced mobility feel less able to make
                                         spontaneous journeys.
                                     • Limited ability to travel in groups – due to the capacity of
                                         most public transport services to only allow individual or
                                         isolated travel for wheelchair users.
                                     • Inappropriate highway infrastructure – kerbs and platforms
Many barriers still
need to be                               are often not compatible with the level of buses or trains
overcome to secure                       preventing independent travel.
access for disabled                  • Unprofessional and untrained staff – negative attitudes or
and reduced                              ignorance about disability act as a considerable disincentive to
mobility customers
                                         choose public transport.


5
  It should be noted that Milton Keynes’ bus station is not immediately next to the rail station – it is situated some distance over
the square.



                                                                                                                                       9
                   •   Negative perceptions – a key barrier to use of public transport
                       are the historically negative attitudes held by disabled people
                       themselves. Until they, and the groups that represent them,
                       begin to accept that network accessibility is improving,
                       behavioural change will be difficult to realise.
                   •   Reliance on community transport – this mode of transport is
                       more likely to be tailored to exact needs and can provide door-
                       to-door travel with assistance. It provides a form of
                       competition with public transport.

                   A.16 The study also considered the barriers that operators and
                   local authorities encounter when attempting to provide access for
                   all users. These included:
                   • Wheelchair designs – standard regulations do not exist which
                        makes it difficult to for transport providers to guarantee travel
                        for all users.
There are often    • The DfT’s franchising system – which does not presently
external factors        include accessibility as a scored criterion, preventing
which are beyond
                        accessibility from gaining higher priority status with transport
the control of
transport               operators.
operators          • Lack of control over highways – bus operators do not have
                        jurisdiction over public highways, meaning that they cannot
                        always guarantee accessible services due to inappropriate kerb
                        heights or the situation of parking bays.
                   • Political will – until there is commitment to accessibility
                        within political circles there is likely to be a natural ceiling on
                        public transport accessibility progress. At present it is the view
                        of providers that the private car retains supremacy in policy
                        development.
                   • A fragmented industry – limited co-ordination and joint-
                        working with uneven investment has led to incoherent and
                        inconsistent facilities. This does not encourage trust amongst
                        disabled users.

Action Plan for the way forward
                   A.17 Whilst the significance of enhancing accessibility is well
                   recognised by stakeholders in the South East, the evidence
                   presented in this report reveals that provision remains patchy. This
                   is the case for both rail and bus services, which have been the main
                   modes considered in this report. Considerable challenges remain.

                   A.18 Five ‘Action Areas’ have been identified as a result of this
                   study to address some of the persistent barriers. Each ‘Action Area’
                   identifies specific tasks related to the barriers identified in the
                   research and opportunities (both existing and future) for realising
                   them. An indication of timeframes, areas of responsibility and
                   resource implications is also set out.

                   A.19 The Action Areas are summarised briefly below:




                                                                                        10
                     •   Action Area 1 -        Improved travel information and
                         marketing
                         Proposed actions include positive public relations; use of
                         images and role models; easier to read timetables; provision of
                         local station brochures and the development of co-ordinated
                         ‘whole journey’ information to assist journey planning.

                     •   Action Area 2 - Raising awareness through staff training
                         Suggested actions include dedicated staff courses to improve
                         behavioural attitudes and knowledge; development of a staff
                         intranet including appropriate information; liaison with
                         disabled groups; sharing good practice approaches to training
                         and incorporating staff training agreements when establishing
                         Quality Bus Partnerships / awarding rail franchise contracts.

                     •   Action Area 3 - Matching infrastructure to services
                         The principal vehicle proposed for achievement of this
                         objective was the establishment of Quality Bus Partnerships
                         enabling local authorities and/or bodies responsible for
                         infrastructure to work together with bus to make reciprocal
                         accessibility improvements. Lobbying the DfT to include
                         accessibility as a scored element when awarding franchise
                         contracts is also suggested.

                     •   Action Area 4 - Partnership working
                         The report suggests the development of a regional forum for
                         sharing good practice, raising awareness, making service
                         improvements and finding ways in which to meet legislative
                         requirements. Local partnership working with disabled and
                         reduced mobility user-groups is also proposed to help advance
                         the access credentials across the public transport system in the
                         South East and to dispel some public transport mythologies.

                     •   Action Area 5 - Funding
                         To address concern about resources for accessibility
                         improvements the report points to the need to prioritise
                         accessibility projects within local planning and using developer
                         contributions for accessibility improvements. Lobbying for
                         specific accessibility funding from central government is also
                         identified as a possible action.

                     A.20 The Action Plan identifies practical steps to delivery through
Joint working will   existing opportunities. As such, many of the recommendations
be critical if
progress is to be
                     identified could be enacted relatively swiftly, without the need for
realised             substantial investment by operators or public authorities.




                                                                                      11
                     A.21 Whilst responsibility for taking forward these actions is
                     mixed, a clear message permeating the Plan is the need to work in
                     partnership. A constructive dialogue must govern the way forward
                     – neither ‘side’ will be able to solve the accessibility problems
                     unilaterally. As such, initiation of Action Area 4 above, is
A regional forum     suggested as a useful starting point. Convening a regional forum of
would serve          operators, local authorities and disability groups would not only
multiple purposes
…                    fulfil the function of sharing good practice but it would also
                     provide a platform for joint-working to develop ‘whole journey’
                     information, encourage the development of Quality Bus
                     Partnerships and combine efforts to lobby for either national or
                     local funds.
Conclusions
                     A.22 The accessibility of the public transport system in the South
                     East has a considerable way to go before it receives confident
                     endorsement from those with reduced mobility or a disability.
                     More needs to be done to encourage a switch from private modes
                     of transport. This does have implications for the objectives of the
                     Assembly, whilst TSE will also recognise the need for
                     improvements to help with attainment of their visitor and revenue
                     targets and to ensure that the opportunities afforded by the Olympic
                     and Paralympic Games are not wasted. This being said, however,
                     there are various ‘quick win’ solutions that could, if implemented,
                     make a considerable difference to the experience of public
                     transport for users requiring extra assistance.

                     A.23 The study accepts that whilst some actions can be taken
Sustained effort     quickly, altering or changing of perceptions may lag behind in
and immediate        terms of timescale. A sustained effort will be required to encourage
action will hep to
                     use of public transport; behavioural change ‘will not happen
realise positive
outcomes in the      overnight’ and success will be largely dependent on an immediate
South East           prioritisation of action. Assuming this type of approach is adopted
                     however, as identified by the Action Plan above, change is possible
                     in the medium term, so the prognosis for accessibility in the South
                     East, and for the meeting the challenges posed by the Olympic and
                     Paralympic Games, remains positive.




                                                                                      12
    1       Introduction
                       1.0.1          In January 2008 TSE and the South East England
                       Regional Assembly (the Assembly) commissioned Mott
                       MacDonald to undertake a detailed research study into the barriers
                       faced by disabled and reduced mobility people when trying to use
                       public transport across the South East. The intention was to
                       develop an Action Plan to inform future work to improve
                       accessibility within the region.
                       1.0.2          Boosting accessibility to the public transport network
                       is pivotal in the achievement of aims for both organisations. For
Accessibility is key   TSE, their overriding objective is to create the conditions for the
to achieving           regional tourism industry to develop and grow. It has an ambitious
tourism objectives     objective to meet an additional revenue target of £1 billion over the
in the South East      next nine years through capitalising on opportunities that will be
                       presented by the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. TSE
                       recognises that enhancing accessibility across the tourism industry
                       is a key component of this strategy and is committed to this
                       endeavour. Whilst ensuring that venues and attractions play their
                       part in making access easier for disabled customers, TSE also
                       wants to see both real and perceived barriers to public transport
                       broken down, thereby increasing the ability of presently non-
                       travelling disabled people to get to tourist locations.
                       1.0.3          The accessibility agenda is equally as important to
                       the Regional Assembly, as the strategic spatial and transport
The need to reduce     planning body, and the wider Regional Transport Board. The
congestion and         Assembly, whilst recognising that investment in infrastructure will
influence travel
choice are
                       be necessary to support future development of the region, regards
significant drivers    that improvements to encourage the use of modes alternative to the
                       private car should be the focus for future investment. This ambition
                       is important both to reducing congestion on the region’s road
                       network, but also to the ensuring that the South East is responding
                       to environmental and sustainability targets. The Assembly
                       recognises that public transport accessibility is a fundamental
                       factor affecting travel choice and, therefore, a key jigsaw piece in
                       the achievement of the overall regional strategy.
                       1.0.4          Aside from being integral to ongoing projects, the
                       significance of the accessibility agenda has been magnified by the
The Olympic and        prospect of the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to London
Paralympic Games       in 2012. The South East, particularly the tourism industry, is set to
further promote        become a key beneficiary of the Games and the potential rewards
the need for
accessibility
                       are high. The capabilities of the public transport network to
enhancements           accommodate all abilities and ages will be crucial in capitalising on
                       the opportunities afforded by 2012. This is clearly a priority for the
                       Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), whose Games Transport
                       Strategy is predicated on a desire to welcome the overwhelming
                       majority of visitors to events via public transport.
                       1.0.5         To assist them with their response to these prevailing
                       challenges, TSE and the Assembly required investigation of the
                       following issues:




                                                                                          13
                                     •    The barriers faced by disabled and reduced mobility passengers
                                          to public transport in the South East.
                                     •    Current access facilities to public transport across the region,
                                          and particularly around key transport interchanges and tourism
                                          locations.
                                     •    Examples of good practice within the South East and
                                          elsewhere.
                                     •    Legislative and policy requirements/priorities.
                                     •    The extent to which transport operators engage with
                                          representatives of disabled and reduced mobility groups.
                                     •    The potential business opportunities for both the tourism and
                                          transport industries of advancing accessibility in the region.
                                     1.0.6         Two principal outputs were requested – the
                                     production of a regional picture of public transport accessibility
                                     (including mapping of facilities) and an Action Plan to highlight
                                     measures and approaches to develop the network so that it can
                                     more effectively fulfil the transport needs of those with disabilities
                                     and reduced mobility, encouraging greater use by these groups.
                                     1.0.7          This report presents the findings of this accessibility
                                     study. It represents the culmination of an extensive desk research
                                     exercise6, consultations7 with transport, tourism and disability
                                     representatives and a stakeholder workshop8 attended by transport
                                     operators, disability groups, tourism bodies and the ODA.
                                     Organisations attending the workshop and those interviewed during
                                     the consultation phase are included in Appendix A.
                                     1.0.8               The report conforms to the following structure:
                                     Chapter 2           What is accessibility?
                                     Chapter 3           The rationale for improving accessibility
                                     Chapter 4           Developments in the public transport industry
                                     Chapter 5           Accessibility in the South East
                                     Chapter 6           Mapping transport accessibility in the South East
                                     Chapter 7           Barriers to public transport accessibility
                                     Chapter 8           Challenges, actions and recommendations




6
  The following information sources were consulted during the desk research exercise: disability and accessibility legislation and
Government guidance; regional economic, transport planning and tourism, policy documents; Local Transport Plans; literature
on the attitudes of disabled people towards public transport; National Rail; Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC);
bus and train operators (timetables, websites and consultations); county and Unitary local authorities – which have the
responsibility for transport planning issues, highway/infrastructure improvements and the production of Local Transport Plans.
7
  The following organisations that participated in one-to-one consultations were: ATOC; the Disabled Persons Transport
Advisory Committee (DPTAC); ODA; Tourism for All; the White Lodge Centre (supports disabled children, adults and their
families or carers in Surrey and the surrounding areas).
8
  The purpose of the workshop was to discuss preliminary findings, identify any further barriers to accessibility to the public
transport system in the South East and develop suggestions on the way in which these barriers could be overcome.



                                                                                                                                  14
          2         What is accessibility?
                                       2.0.1          There is not a universal understanding of the term
                                       accessibility. As such it was sensible, indeed imperative, to clarify
                                       at the outset the exact meaning on which this report is premised.
                                       This chapter of the report briefly outlines the range of differing
                                       interpretations of the term and confirms the definition that is used
                                       throughout this study. It highlights the need to view accessibility as
                                       the ability to use existing public services and reasserts that it
                                       applies to not only a diverse range of disabled people but also has
                                       benefits for the wider community. Information and literature from
                                       central and regional Government as well as the wider transport
                                       industry has been used to assemble this chapter.


          2.1             Definition of accessibility
                                       2.1.1         Within Department for Transport (DfT) terminology,
                                       accessibility describes ‘the ease with which an individual can
                                       access services and facilities that he or she needs or desires’9. A
Accessibility is                       range of indicators have been developed to quantify accessibility
often used to refer
                                       and the ease with which a given section of the population can get to
to geographical
proximity of                           and use services. The definition, therefore, is a wide one. However,
services rather                        somewhat conversely this broad definition has given rise to a fairly
ability of people to                   narrow understanding and application of the term. A fairly
use them                               widespread tendency has developed to assess accessibility through
                                       mapping the proximity of people to services, in order to identify
                                       available transport links and reach an assessment about
                                       communities which are socially isolated.

                                       2.1.2         There is no doubt, that this geographical application
                                       is highly beneficial in determining spatial priorities for social
                                       inclusion policy. However, there has been an unhelpful by-product
                                       - viewing accessibility from the perspective of varying
                                       demographic groups has been partially sidelined. That is,
                                       measuring how easily people can actually make use of the
                                       logistical and social infrastructure that already exists is not as
                                       routinely undertaken.

                                       2.1.3           A shift in emphasis is critical, therefore, when
                                       analysing access for disabled people. Services and transport links
                                       may be readily available in terms of proximity, but if the facilities
                                       aren’t adapted to accommodate those with mobility difficulties,
                                       accessibility is still, by definition, low.




  9
      DfT (2006a): ‘Accessibility planning guidance: Full Guidance’



                                                                                                          15
                                       2.1.4          In their report for the Assembly in 2007, Addison
                                       and Associates note that the Government’s guidance on Local
                                       Transport Plans (LTPs) has, in part, helped to perpetuate this
                                       meaning. It is quite prescriptive in its requirements for authorities
                                       to undertake accessibility planning – i.e. the production of maps
                                       that give a better understanding of geographical social exclusion
                                       experienced by those without access to a car and living in rural and
                                       some parts of urban areas10. Given that LTPs are the primary
                                       vehicle through which local authorities bid for government
                                       resources, this guidance could act as an indirect encouragement to
                                       direct accessibility planning towards overcoming spatial barriers
                                       rather than tackling impediments encountered by certain societal
                                       groups.

                                       2.1.5           The Addison and Associates report also highlights
                                       that reference to the term ‘mobility management’ is sometimes
                                       used more specifically in relation to people who have physical
In this study
                                       difficulties and experience difficultly in getting around. For
accessibility refers                   example, the DfT established a Mobility Unit in 1980 with the
to the ability of                      distinct objective of promoting personal mobility options for those
disabled and                           who were experiencing exclusion, largely as a consequence of
reduced mobility                       disability or infirmity11. Yet this being said, mobility management
people to use public
transport services
                                       is also frequently used as a synonym for managing transport
                                       demand, behavioural modification and modal shift. It is not
                                       exclusively used to refer to overcoming barriers for physically or
                                       sensory impaired individuals. The Assembly adopt the latter
                                       definition for its mobility management work.

                                       In this study, accessibility is used to refer to the ability to use
                                       existing transport services rather than solely the geographical
                                       proximity to them.

          2.2            Definition of disability

                                       2.2.1          It is important to realise that disabled people are not
                                       a homogenous group with identical needs; ‘disability’ has a wide-
                                       ranging definition and does not solely apply to those who have
                                       mobility impairments. Under the 1995 Disability Discrimination
 Disabled people are                   Act (DDA), a disabled person is someone who has a physical or
 a diverse group                       mental impairment which has effect on his or her ability to carry
                                       out normal day-to-day activities. The effect must be substantial,
                                       adverse and be long term (in that it has lasted or is likely to last for
                                       at least a year). Hidden impairments are also covered, such as
                                       mental illness, mental health problems, learning disabilities,
                                       diabetes or epilepsy. The 2005 Act extended this definition still
                                       further to include those with cancer, HIV or multiple sclerosis.
                                       2.2.2         When assessing accessibility, it is important to be
                                       appreciative of the diversity of disability. Transport providers are
                                       required to adhere to this broad definition and, therefore, their
                                       services and vehicles must be tailored accordingly.


  10
       South East England Regional Assembly (2007a): ‘Accessibility and Mobility Management’ by Addison and Associates
  11
       Ibid.



                                                                                                                         16
     2.3              A wider application of accessibility
                                    2.3.1         The range of disability groups and the ease with
                                    which they can use public transport services in the South East is the
Accessibility                       core focus in this study. However, accessibility applies not only to
enhancements can
be beneficial to a
                                    people with disabilities, but also to a wide cross section of society
wide range of                       for example older people, children, and individuals with pushchairs
groups in society                   and prams (referred to as those with reduced mobility). Passengers
                                    with heavy luggage would also benefit considerably from improved
                                    access facilities on the public transport network, hence the
                                    significance of the accessibility agenda to the visitor economy.
                                    2.3.2          This research is premised on a broad application of
                                    accessibility, acknowledging that can impact upon all user groups.
                                    The broader community benefits of improving access are
                                    recognised by the industry itself. In the rail industry’s Code of
                                    Practice for disabled passengers, the Strategic Rail Authority
                                    (SRA) highlights:
                                    ‘People with a large amount of luggage, or with small children and
                                    pushchairs, for example, will appreciate uncluttered stations,
                                    conveniently arranged seating, alternatives to stairs and doors that
                                    can be opened easily with one hand. People in unfamiliar
                                    environments, tourists for example, will appreciate logical station
                                    layouts and clear, consistent signage.’12




12
   Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) (2006): ‘Train and station services for disabled passengers – a Code of Practice’. It should be
noted that the SRA was dissolved in 2006, with its primary powers transferred to the DfT, the relevant Departments of the
Scottish Executive and National Assembly for Wales and the Office for Rail Regulation.



                                                                                                                              17
     3           The rationale for improving accessibility
                                     3.0.1          As outlined in the introduction to this report the
                                     accessibility in the South East is at the forefront of TSE’s and the
                                     Assembly’s agenda. This very much fits into a national wider
                                     picture.
                                     3.0.2          There are numerous reasons for the increasing
                                     prominence of accessibility in the UK. This chapter of the report
                                     outlines the drivers behind this growth in importance, explaining
                                     the rationale for transport providers to make improvements to their
                                     vehicles and services so that they are easy to use for a wide section
                                     of the community. It is based on a review of accessibility
                                     legislation and research into disabled people’s attitudes towards
                                     public transport. Also considered are the economic incentives and
                                     business opportunities for responding to access challenges13.


     3.1               The legislative agenda

                                     3.1.1          Accessibility for people with disabilities is a key
                                     feature of the Government’s agenda and has steadily been
                                     increasing in prominence (see adjacent table). The mobility of
                                     disabled people is a precondition for the achievement of a wide
                                     range of government objectives such as safe and independent
                                     living; full participation in civil society; and the maintenance of
                                     good physical and mental health through access to recreational and
                                     cultural facilities. Some of these links were brought out in the
                                     Prime Minister's Strategy Unit's report "Improving the Life
                                     Chances of Disabled People"14.

                                       Increasing prominence of the accessibility agenda
                                       1985 - The Disabled Person Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) was
                                       established to advise the Government on the transport and built environment
                                       needs of all disabled people across the UK.
                                       1995 - The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) created statutory rights and
                                       obligations for employment, premises, education and public transport in a bid to
                                       end discrimination.
                                       1997 - The Disability Rights Task Force (DRTF) was established to look at the
                                       full range of issues affecting disabled people's lives, and to advise the
                                       Government on further action to promote comprehensive and enforceable civil
                                       rights for disabled people. The first task of the DRTF was to establish a
                                       Disability Rights Commission (DRC) (2000), the remit of which is to work
Accessibility has                      towards the elimination of discrimination against disabled people and to ensure
steadily risen in                      that disabled people can participate fully as equal citizens in society.
prominence on the                      1999 - The European Conference of Ministers of Transport adopted a Charter
                                       in the Access to Transport Services and Infrastructure, underlining commitment
Government’s
                                       to new transport infrastructure taking account the needs of people with
agenda                                 disabilities.
                                       2000 - The DfT published its Ten Year Plan for Transport which committed the
                                       Government to public transport that is accessible, making accessibility for
                                       disabled people a condition of public funding. The Plan requires local
                                       authorities and transport operators to ensure that the transport needs of
                                       disabled people are factored into their plans.
                                       2005 – DDA amendments – increasing the responsibilities for transport
                                       providers to enhance accessibility and provide equality of services.



13
   Very little information exists about the economic incentives for introducing accessibility improvements. An overview of
potential financial gain is provided in this section. Individual operators consulted at this stage, however, were unable to provide
robust business cases to support investment in accessible facilities. This is discussed further in sections 3.3 and 4.3.
14
   www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/strategy/work_areas/disability/.



                                                                                                                                 18
                                      The key Acts are outline in more detail below.

                                      Transport Act, 1985
                                      3.1.2          Under the Transport Act 198515 the Government
                                      established the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee
                                      (DPTAC) to advise it on the transport needs of disabled people.
                                      DPTAC’s remit and aim is primarily to secure improved access for
                                      people with disabilities – it seeks to ensure that disabled people can
                                      go where everyone else goes and that they can do so easily and
                                      without extra cost. It continues to provide guidance to the DfT,
                                      basing its advice on four overarching principles:
                                      •     Accessibility for disabled people is a condition of any
                                            investment.
                                      •     Accessibility for disabled people must be a mainstream
                                            activity.
                                      •     Disabled people             should       be   involved   in   determining
                                            accessibility.
                                      •     Accessibility for disabled people is the responsibility of the
                                            provider.

                                      Disability Discrimination Act, 1995
                                      3.1.3          A fundamental step towards improving transport
                                      accessibility for people with disabilities came in 1995 with the
                                      introduction of the DDA16. This was introduced to eliminate
                                      discrimination against disabled people in a variety of areas of
                                      public life, including employment, education, public transport and
                                      the provision of general goods facilities and services.
                                      3.1.4          Part 5 of the DDA specifically related to access
The Disability                        standards for certain types of public transport vehicle. It included a
Discrimination Act                    raft of provisions for taxis, public service vehicles (PSVs - vehicles
introduced a                          carrying eight or more passengers) and rail vehicles. Essentially
statutory                             regulations since 1995 have required bus, rail and tram operators to
responsibility for
transport providers
                                      ensure that disabled persons can board and alight vehicles in safety
to improve vehicle                    and without unreasonable difficulty and that they are transported in
accessibility                         such vehicles in safety and reasonable comfort. Wheelchair users
                                      should be able to remain in their wheelchairs when embarking and
                                      during passage.
                                      3.1.5          Part 3 of the DDA related to discrimination by
                                      providers of good services and facilities. However, whilst some
                                      parts of transport infrastructure were included (such as services at
                                      airports, information and timetabling services), services in relation
                                      to carriage in public transport vehicles were exempt. This division
                                      was not always easy to decipher.




15
     Department of Transport (1985): ‘Transport Act’
16
     Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) (1995): ‘Disability Discrimination Act’



                                                                                                                  19
                                     Disability Discrimination Act – 2005 amendment
                                     3.1.6          The lack of clarity on exemption policy was lifted to
                                     some degree in 2005 when the DDA was amended. The 2005
                                     regulations17 effectively applied Part 3 to providers of public
                                     transport and types of transport vehicles in the same way as other
                                     public services. Operators of bus, coach, private hire vehicle, taxi,
                                     train, tram and light rail services are now all subject to the
                                     provisions of the Act.
                                     3.1.7         As such, the responsibilities of transport operators
                                     have moved on considerably since 1995 and need for operators to
                                     ensure equality of access for disabled persons has been
                                     strengthened. As well as ensuring access on and off vehicles and
                                     comfort of passage it is now unlawful discrimination for transport
                                     providers to:
                                     •     Refuse to provide any service which it provides to members of
                                           the public
                                     •     To provide a service which is inferior in terms of quality and
DDA amendments                             standard
in 2005 enhanced
the legislative                      •     To provide a service which operates on different terms that
imperative to make                         provided to members of the public
transport services
easier for disabled                  •     Treat a disabled passenger less favourably for reasons relating
people to use
                                           to the disability – where it cannot be shown that the treatment
                                           is justified.
                                     •     Fail to make reasonable adjustments to make services equally
                                           accessible to disabled people – where it cannot be shown that
                                           this failure is justifiable.18
                                     3.1.8         The above provisions relate to all those employed
                                     within the transport service, from the most senior director to the
                                     most junior employee, whether part-time or permanent. Penalties
                                     for breaching regulations are significant. If discrimination is
                                     believed to have occurred, cases can be brought to the county
                                     court.


       3.2             Meeting the needs of disabled and reduced mobility
                       people
                                     3.2.1         Recent research by various organisations has
                                     uncovered that transport is an overriding concern for disabled
                                     people and that there is a general desire to travel more; over half of
                                     disabled people would like to go out more often19.




  17
     OPSI (2005): ‘Disability Discrimination Act’
  18
     It should be noted that term “reasonable” in the DDA remains open to debate and the relatively recent revision to the Act
  means that case law is limited.
  19
     Disability Rights Commission (DRC) (2006): ‘Secondary analysis of existing data on disabled people’s use and experience of
  public transport in Great Britain’ by the Centre for Disability Studies.



                                                                                                                            20
                                  3.2.2          In 2002 DPTAC commissioned a study20 into the
The overriding                    attitudes of disabled people to public transport, which found that
Disabled people
perception of                     they travel a third less often than the general public. Those with
regard transport as
disabled
a key priority that               disabilities share many of the same concerns as other commuters
passengers is
public transport is               (such as desiring more frequent and punctual public transport
not meeting their                 services), but they also have a number of specific priorities related
needs                             to vehicle design, getting to bus stops and train stations, boarding
                                  vehicles themselves, staff attitudes and the availability of
                                  information.
                                  3.2.3          Despite the difficulties that disabled people
                                  experience with public transport, they still tend to attach greater
                                  importance to it than non-disabled people, not least because many
                                  of them don’t have access to a car. A study by the Disability Rights
                                  Commission (DRC) study 200621 reported that almost half of
                                  disabled people are totally reliant on public transport to get around.
Accessibility                     Given this reliance, it was not surprising to discover that
improvements are
likely to reap social
                                  improvements to accessibility could ‘substantially contribute to
rewards                           their quality of life’. The 2006 study revealed positive signs that
                                  access advancements would encourage more disabled people to
                                  make use of public transport. 22
                                  3.2.4          The absence of some basic features which would
                                  make travelling on the public transport system easier for disabled
                                  passengers means that, at present, transport operators are not
                                  comprehensively meeting demand. Commercial opportunities that
                                  could be realised through offering more accessible journey options
                                  are presently not being maximised.


     3.3             The economic imperative
                                  3.3.1          Accessibility is not a marginal issue. Disabled people
                                  and those with a long-term illness account for some 10% of the UK
The size of the                   population23. Using a broad definition of disability, an Omnibus
potential market is
considerable                      Survey by the Department of Social Services24 reported that the
                                  provisions of the DDA 1995 cover approximately 11.7 million
                                  people, including 6.5 million people of working age. It is estimated
                                  that one in four households has a disabled resident25. The market,
                                  therefore, is considerable – especially given the much documented
                                  need and desire to use public transport as highlighted above.




20
   DPTAC (2002): ‘Attitudes of disabled people to public transport: Research Study’
21
   DRC (2006): Op. cit.
22
   Ibid.
23
   Department for Work and Pensions press notice 9 February 2006 - "Updated estimate of the numbers of disabled people
including people with limiting longstanding illnesses, and their associated spending power", at
www.dwp.gov.uk/mediacentre/pressreleases/2006/feb/drc-015-090206.asp.
24
   DSS (1997): ‘The Disability Discrimination Act: Analysis of Data from an Omnibus Survey; Inhouse report 30’ by Grahame
Whitfield
25
   James Ruppert, Independent June 15, 2004.



                                                                                                                        21
                                   3.3.2         As such, economic drivers accompany equalities
                                   objectives in the government’s accessibility agenda. It is
National economic                  recognised that there are potentially significant gains to be made
gains are possible
through increasing
                                   from assisting disabled people with mobility. The Department for
the ability to access              Work and Pensions (DWP) estimated in 2004 that disabled people
employment                         have a spending power of around £80 billion each year26. Meeting
opportunities                      the transport needs of disabled people by providing inclusive
                                   policies and infrastructure could facilitate a wider exertion of this
                                   spending power. In addition, planning strategically to design
                                   accessible transport facilities is likely to enable more disabled
                                   people to become or remain part of the country's workforce,
                                   thereby becoming creators of national wealth rather than solely
                                   consumers of state benefits. The DRC review in 2006 reported that
                                   23% of disabled people actively seeking employment had had to
                                   turn down a job offer due to lack of transport access27; remedying
                                   this issue would be economically beneficial to the individual, the
                                   employer and the public purse.
                                   3.3.3         Research by the Association of Train Operating
                                   Companies (ATOC) indicates that the potential value of the
                                   disability market in rail terms alone is about £300 million per
                                   annum. This figure is based on the assumption of disabled people
                                   spending equivalent amounts on rail travel as the average
                                   household spend and is extrapolated from the overall spending
                                   power of disabled people28. In addition, in consultations with
                                   transport operators the view was expressed that as access
                                   improvements make conditions of passage easier for all users, not
                                   only those with disabilities or reduced mobility, patronage levels
                                   could be expected to receive a boost following the introduction of
                                   any modifications (see paragraph 4.3.19, which highlights
                                   Merseyrail’s experience).

                                   3.3.4 There is also a huge market to be exploited for the tourism
                                   industry. Over 2.5 million people in the UK with disabilities travel
Research reveals                   regularly29, spending an estimated £6 billion a year on tourism in
that there is a
commercial
                                   the UK.30 Research has found over three quarters, 76% of disabled
incentive for the                  people find holidays to be ‘very’ or ‘quite’ important to them31.
transport and                      Many disabled people are not tied to school holidays for their
tourism industry                   holiday-taking, thus could potentially ease the problem of
                                   seasonality in the tourism business. Moreover, disabled people
                                   don’t travel alone – there are an estimated additional 8.5 million
                                   people who want / need to travel with them.32




26
   www.dwp.gov.uk/mediacentre/pressreleases/2004/dec/spending.asp.
27
   DRC (2006): op. cit.
28
   Information received through consultation with ATOC.
29
   www.tourismforall.org.uk
30
   English Tourist Council 2003
31
   English Tourism Council (2001): ‘Report on People with disabilities and Holiday Taking’
32
   www.tourismknowledge.com



                                                                                                     22
                                    3.3.5           Moreover, particularly significant for the travel
                                    industry are foreign visitors. At least 650 million across the world
                                    have disabilities33, 45 million of which reside within Europe34,
                                    which is significant considering that Europe is the source of well
                                    over 70% of the UK’s visitors35. Making travelling conditions and
                                    facilities easier, therefore, could reap considerable domestic and
                                    international tourism benefits. Improvements to access credentials
                                    at the region’s major transport gateways (for example Gatwick,
                                    Southampton, Ashford and Dover), which play a key role in
                                    facilitating the transit of visitors, will be particularly important.


                                    3.3.6           It is also worth considering the proportion of the
                                    population that are over 65. There are nearly 9.5 million people36
                                    over 65 in the UK, and the number of travellers of retirement age is
                                    growing significantly. There is, for example, a trend for
                                    grandparents to take grandchildren on holiday, a trend which is
                                    similar across Europe. While we are living longer, and are better
                                    off than previous generations, age brings an increasing chance of a
                                    disability, although many do not identify themselves as 'disabled'.
                                    Accessibility improvements could, therefore, provide a greater
                                    incentive for older people to choose the South East as a holiday
                                    destination.37

       3.4            The Olympic and Paralympic agenda
                                    Commercial opportunities
                                    3.4.1          Bringing the economic imperative of improving
                                    accessibility into sharper focus are the forthcoming Olympic and
                                    Paralympic Games, which will be held in London in 2012. The
                                    Games are expected to generate huge benefits for the UK’s tourism
                                    industry. Between 50-75% of the benefit of staging the games over
                                    a 7-10 year period will accrue through the tourism component of
                                    the economy38. A joint study by Visit London and Visit Britain39
                                    predicts that the Games will generate tourism gains totalling
     Tourism revenues               £2.34bn (at 2006 prices) over the period 2007-17 for the UK as a
     resulting from                 whole. London is expected to attract approximately £1.85 billion of
     the Games will be              this sum. Interestingly, in terms of visitor split 54% of funds are
     substantial
                                    expected to be generated after the Games themselves (i.e. the
                                    legacy effect). 15% and 31% are the expected tourism totals for the
                                    pre-Games and during-Games periods respectively. There is much
                                    for the tourism industry to benefit from.




33
   United Nations (2007): ‘UN Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities’
34
   http://www.realising-potential.org/stakeholder-factbox/disabled-people-worldwide/
35
   Visit Britain (2007): ‘IPS Monthly Release – December 2007’
36
   Office of National Statistics (ONS) (2006)
37
   http://www.tourismforall.org.uk/Advice-for-Tourism-Businesses.html
38
   Visit Britain – cited in South East Partnership for the 2012 Games (2007a): ‘Compete, create, collaborate for a world class
performance: South East offer for the 2012 Games’
39
   Visit London and Visit Britain (2007): ‘The Value of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to Tourism’



                                                                                                                                 23
                                    3.4.2          The potential that the events hold for the South East
 The Olympic and                    is well recognised. The Regional Economic Strategy highlights the
 Paralympic Games                   effect that the 2000 Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games had
 represent a                        on New South Wales’ economy – it is estimated that it brought
 significant                        £1.5 billion to the region40. An Olympics effect is anticipated in the
 economic                           South East which, it is hoped, will help with the attractiveness of
 opportunity for the
 South East                         the area to high value jobs41.

                                    3.4.3           The South East Partnership for the 2012 Games’42
                                    2007 publication ‘Compete, create, collaborate for a world class
                                    performance: South East offer for the 2012 Games’ highlights that
                                    the region is in a unique position to play a significant role in
                                    delivering the Games due to its proximity to London, its position as
                                    a global gateway and its internationally competitive regional
                                    economy. As importantly, the region is also ideally placed to reap
                                    the long-term benefits of the 2012 Games by creating a lasting and
                                    sustainable legacy for the communities and businesses of the South
                                    East43. It is this legacy that lies at the heart of the South East’s
                                    approach to development and planning – sustainability is the
                                    overriding objective44.

                                    3.4.4         In addition to over 4,000 athletes with a disability
                                    who will participate in the Paralympic Games, the Olympic
Many participants
and spectators will
                                    Transport Plan45 forecasts that 15–20% of spectators (24,000–
have specific access                32,000 each day) are expected to have specific access needs. The
needs                               importance of catering for these requirements is well recognised in
                                    the ODA’s Transport Plan; this a sizeable potential market that the
                                    South East will need to be ready to serve and tap into.

                                    Meeting policy objectives
                                    3.4.5          The South East has a responsibility to play a part in
                                    delivering an accessible Games, not only because of the
                                    commercial opportunities, but also because it is a cross-cutting
                                    theme within the 2012 strategy. Of the five guiding priorities for
 Venues will be                     the delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, three,
 subject to                         either directly or indirectly, place an importance of securing
 accessibility audits               accessible facilities. Most obviously, there is a specific objective to
 and design
 principles                         promote equality and diversity through the creation of accessible
                                    environments. Secondly there is a specified aim to design
                                    accessible venues that will not only be fit to stage Olympic events,
                                    but for long-term use. The legacy aspect of 2012 agenda, which is a
                                    central underlying theme, also makes accessibility an important
                                    consideration.




  40
     SEEDA (2006c): ‘Technical Note 3: Transport’.
  41
     South East England Regional Assembly (2007b): ‘Regional Assembly Summary of Panel / Inspector’s Report into the South
  East Plan’
  42
     Membership organisations include: SEEDA, Sport England, Tourism South East, Kent County Council (representing counties),
  Southampton City Council (representing cities), Arts Council England South East, South East England Regional Assembly,
  RAISE, Culture South East, Learning and Skills Council, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (representing districts),
  Envirobusiness and GOSE.
  43
     South East Partnership for the 2012 Games (2007a): Op. cit.
  44
     Ibid.
  45
     Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) (2007): ‘Transport Plan’



                                                                                                                         24
                        3.4.6          The ODA is demonstrating a commitment to easing
                        access through incorporating accessibility principles into design
                        from the outset. All existing venues will be subject to an
                        accessibility audit, the results of which will feed into an Access
                        Strategy for the venue. Where possible all barriers to accessibility
                        will be removed (for example, obstructions to footways and stairs),
                        whilst appropriate signing, dropped kerbs and tactile paving will be
                        introduced.

                        3.4.7          The total vehicle fleet requirement for the Games
                        Family will be approximately 4,720 vehicles, of which
                        approximately two thirds will be cars and multi-purpose vehicles
                        (MPVs); these vehicles will also be used for the Paralympic
                        Games. The specification for these vehicles will ensure that
                        sufficient numbers of vehicles are accessible for passengers
                        transferring from wheelchairs and for other disabled people of all
                        impairments. MPVs will be accessible for passengers travelling in
                        their own wheelchairs.

                        3.4.8          Further proposals are mentioned in the Transport
                        Plan that demonstrate action will be taken to provide disabled
Vehicles and            access to the network. Transport staff will be trained to deal with
interchanges will       the diverse requirements of all client groups, receiving ‘specialist
see access facilities   customer care and disability awareness training to give them the
and staff will
receive awareness       tools and confidence to perform their roles in an effective manner.’
training                The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic
                        Games (LOCOG) plans to set standards for vehicle accessibility,
                        whilst the ODA’s scheduled programme of work includes
                        accessibility and connectivity improvements in and around key
                        venue interchanges. Some Blue Badge parking will also be
                        available for disabled spectators and workforce.

                        3.4.9           The Olympic Games itself, plus the Paralympic
                        Games which follows it, will do much to help raise the profile of
                        accessibility. In addition, the transport plans reveal that access for
                        disabled and mobility impaired athletes and spectators has been
                        mainstreamed into the ODA’s thinking. It does, however, have a
                        knock-on effect for surrounding areas, not least the South East to
                        provide linking services to the inner transport network that are
                        equally equipped to deal with passengers with specific access
                        needs.




                                                                                           25
     4           Developments in the public transport industry
                                    4.0.1         It is evident from Chapter 3 that legislative
                                    imperatives, social and moral obligations and potential economic
                                    gains have prompted a considerable amount of action from public
                                    transport operators over recent years. This chapter of the report
                                    reviews the developments towards accessible services to date,
                                    examining progress in the rail and bus industries and the
                                    identifying examples of good practice.


     4.1              Rail


                                    4.1.1         A significant amount of investment has been made
Specific regulations
require rail
                                    by train operators to realise improvements to the accessibility of
vehicles to comply                  the network. Section 46 of the DDA 1995 gave the Secretary of
with accessibility                  State the power to make regulations to ensure that all new trains,
specifications                      trams and other track based systems are accessible to disabled
                                    people including wheelchair users. The Government used these
                                    powers to introduce the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations in
                                    199846. RVAR47 made it mandatory for passenger vehicles brought
                                    into use on or after 1st January 1999 to be accessible to disabled
                                    passengers.


                                    4.1.2          In 2006, highlighting the industry’s commitment to
                                    improving accessibility, the Strategic Rail Authority published a
                                    ‘Train and station services for disabled passengers – a Code of
                                    Practice’48. This provided a list of legal responsibilities and
                                    additional recommendations for the provision of rail services. It is
                                    comprehensive in its coverage, including regulations and guidance
                                    on each stage of rail travel from pre-travel information, getting to
                                    and around the station, boarding, travelling and alighting. There is
                                    not an exclusive focus on physical impediments; issues such as
                                    staff training, provision of accessible information and travel
                                    assistance are acknowledged as playing an essential role in
                                    enhancing disabled passengers perceptions and experiences of rail
                                    travel. Each franchise operator is required to take ‘due regard’ of
                                    the Code as a condition of their license.




46
   A small number or revisions were made to these regulations in 2000 (Rail Vehicle Accessibility Amendment Regulations
2000)
47
   It is likely that RVAR will require revision following the publication of the European Standard ‘Technical Specification for
Interoperability: Persons with Reduced Mobility’, which is expected in July 2008.
48
   SRA (2006): Op. cit.



                                                                                                                                  26
                                    4.1.3          The 2006 Code of Practice also makes clear the
                                    necessity for operators to have in place a Disabled People’s
                                    Protection Policy (DPPP). Within a DPPP operators have to state
A Code of Practice                  how they will protect the interests of disabled users on their trains
and DPPPs exist to                  and stations. It must comprise a policy statement plus details for
ensure train                        disabled people of the services and facilities that they can expect to
operators are                       receive. DPPPs are used to monitor progress towards accessibility
responding to the
needs of disabled                   by the DfT (previously the SRA), which is able to use enforcement
passengers                          action (through the Provision of Services for Disabled People
                                    licence condition or other relevant statutory instruments) if it is not
                                    satisfied that DPPP commitments are being met. As such, all train
                                    operating companies have fairly detailed policies and practices to
                                    support passenger access.


                                    4.1.4         Both the Code of Practice and DPPPs look likely to
                                    be strengthened over the course of the next year. In February 2008
                                    the DfT began consultation on a revised and re-titled draft ‘Train
                                    and Station Design for Disabled Passengers: A Code of Practice’49
                                    and, simultaneously, on revised guidance for DPPPs50.


                                    4.1.5          The revised Code reacts to a forthcoming European
                                    Specification - ‘Technical Specification for Interoperability:
                                    Persons with Reduced Mobility’ (PRM TSI). PRM TSI is expected
Accessibility                       to come into force in July 2008 and will apply to all trains and
regulations for the
rail industry are                   station infrastructure on the Trans European Network (TEN); this
set to be tightened                 represents around 40% of Great Britain’s rail network. It specifies
                                    standards that must be met whenever operators install, renew or
                                    replace services and facilities. The draft Code proposes that these
                                    European regulations should apply to all new stations/vehicles,
                                    refurbishments and renewals. The rationale is to make it easier for
                                    disabled people to know what to expect as they travel by rail
                                    throughout Great Britain. The DfT also reasons that it will be less
                                    complicated for licensed operators to comply with one set of
                                    standards across all stations rather than having to respond to
                                    varying requirements.51


                                    4.1.6         The DfT new guidance for DPPPs being suggested
                                    by the Government places greater responsibility on operators to
                                    engage with the disabled community who are specified as the key
                                    audience, rather than industry or the DfT. Further it suggests that a
                                    common format to DPPPs will assist comparability of station and
                                    operator facilities, thereby making the documents more user-
                                    friendly.52




49
   DfT (2008a): ‘Consultation on revision of train and station design for disabled passengers: A Code of Practice’
50
   DfT (2008b): ‘Consultation on Revision of How to write your disabled persons’ protection policy: A guide for station and train
operators’
51
   DfT (2008a): Op. cit.
52
   DfT (2008b): Op. cit.



                                                                                                                             27
                                      4.1.7          Developments on train services received another
                                      boost in 2006 with the launch of the Government’s Railways for
                                      All Strategy53, which aims to increase the number of journey
                                      opportunities for disabled people by improving stations, trains and
                                      related services. The intention is to enable more disabled people to
                                      use the network, more often and for a wider range of journeys so
                                      that there is a greater opportunity to access employment
                                      opportunities and participate in social and leisure activities.


                                      4.1.8          As part of this Strategy the DfT unveiled an ‘Access
Government funds                      to All’ programme, under which £35 million of funding per year
have been ring-                       has been ring-fenced until 2015. This will be used to tackle the
fenced to improve                     difficulties faced by disabled passengers through improving
station and train
facilities
                                      information, station buildings, platforms, train carriages and staff
                                      training. 132 stations across the country have been selected to
                                      benefit from the scheme, with completion dates phased up to 2015.
                                      Of these, 22 stations in the South East will benefit from the
                                      package – these are specified below.


                                                        Station                Forecast completion date
                                        Three Bridges
                                        Oxted
                                        Weybridge                                     2006 – 2009
                                        Strood
                                        Twyford

                                        Bracknell
                                        Dorking
                                        Fareham
                                        Farnborough Main
                                        Fleet
                                        Fratton
                                        Gravesend
                                                                                      2009 – 2011
                                        Haslemere
                                        Havant
                                        Horley
                                        Sittingbourne
                                        Southampton Airport (Parkway)
                                        Staines
                                        West Byfleet

                                        Canterbury West
                                        Hassocks                                      2012 – 2015
                                        Winchester




53
     DfT (2006b): ‘Railways for All Strategy’



                                                                                                       28
                                   4.1.9          The Railways for All Strategy also provides up to
                                   £7m annually through its Small Schemes Fund. Local authorities,
                                   Train Operating Companies and other groups can bid for matched-
                                   funding up to £250,000 to make improvements to local stations and
                                   address the particular needs of local communities. An additional 19
                                   stations in the South East will receive funding for 2008/09 under
                                   this programme54. Funds have been allocated for enhancements
                                   such as:
                                   •    The provision of automatic doors
                                   •    Variable height ticket counters
                                   •    Blue Badge parking spaces
                                   •    Induction loops
                                   •    Assistance points
                                   •    Accessible toilets
                                   •    Step free interchanges between buses and trains
                                   •    Tactile surfaces
                                   •    Step-free / ramped access to platforms


     4.2             Buses
                                   4.2.1         The bus industry has its own accessibility targets to
                                   meet55. In 2000, the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility
Specific                           Regulations56 (PSVAR) were introduced under Part 5 of the DDA
accessibility                      1995. These applied to all buses or coaches carrying more than 22
regulations also                   passengers brought into service. The regulations were designed to
exist for the bus                  meet the needs of a wide range of disabled people, including
and coach industry
                                   boarding devices, safety and comfort provisions and the use of
                                   visually contrasting colours. Certification of compliance with
                                   PSVAR by the Vehicle and Operators Services Agency is now
                                   required before a vehicle can be used for public service.




54
   Aldermaston, Appleford, Aylesbury, Bexhill, Caterham, Charlbury, Culham, Denham, Didcot Parkway, Durrington-on-Sea,
Henley-on-Thames, Gerrards Cross, Kingham, Lingfield, Oxford, Shiplake, Southampton Central, Walton-on-Thames and
Worthing. In addition to these stations Bracknell, Dorking, Fareham and Farnborough Main, which are part of the main Access
for All package, will also benefit from small scheme funding for specific station improvements prior to major alternations.
55
   http://www.dft.gov.uk/transportforyou/access/buses/whatwehavedone
56
   DfT (2000): ‘Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations’



                                                                                                                         29
                             4.2.2           Originally PSVAR applied to coach and bus vehicles
                             which became active from 1st January 2001. However, targets were
                             also set for all other operational vehicles to ensure that accessibility
                             across all fleets is improved. All full size single decker buses over
                             7.5 tonnes are required to meet accessibility standards by January
                             1st 2016, all double decker buses from January 1st 2017. Vehicles
                             weighing less than 7.5 have until 1st January 2015; coaches must
                             meet regulations by 2020.


                             4.2.3          There is also an acknowledgement that improving
Behavioural                  accessibility is not solely dependent on removing the physical
barriers are also            barriers. Behavioural attitude of drivers and their ability and
being tackled                willingness to help disabled passengers can be equally as
within the bus
industry                     important. As such in 2002 the Public Service Vehicles (Conduct
                             of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers) (Amendment)
                             Regulations were introduced, which placed a formal responsibility
                             onto all bus and coach staff to provide reasonable assistance.


       4.3         Good practice examples

                             4.3.1          Across the transport industry, there are already
                             several notable examples where operators have made, and are
                             continuing to make, policy and financial commitments to improve
                             the accessibility of their services. This section presents three cases
                             in some detail, and also includes a further two other examples.

                             National Express
                             4.3.2          National Express has very much mainstreamed
                             accessibility into its delivery. The firm has a disability statement57
                             highlighting its commitment to ‘reduce social exclusion through a
                             positive policy of providing improved access to transport for the
                             less able or for those without any other means of transport’.

                             4.3.3           Traditionally coach vehicles have not been suitable
Legislative                  for wheelchair users. The legislative requirements of the DDA and
requirements                 PSVAR were the catalyst prompting National Express to
provoked action by           investigate options for making its vehicles more wheelchair-
National Express             friendly. Initially a pilot was launched the company’s London to
                             Bristol route. This involved the addition of a wheelchair lift on the
                             side of the coach vehicle, towards the rear. It quickly became
                             obvious, however, that this early experiment was not a solution; it
                             was acceptable neither to drivers nor disabled passengers. The lift
                             involved hoisting wheelchair users outside of the coach to a height
                             of approximately two metres, leaving incumbents feeling
                             uncomfortable, disconcerted and awkward. The process was also
                             cumbersome and time-consuming provoking frustration on behalf
                             of drivers and other passengers who would invariably encounter
                             delays. In addition, this option involved losing three passenger
                             seats due to the space needed to accommodate one wheelchair. As
                             such, it was not a commercially attractive proposition.

57
     http://www.nationalexpress.com/why_choose/disabled/access.cfm


                                                                                                  30
                                       4.3.4           Learning from this early experience, National
Finding a solution                     Express contacted coach manufactures setting a challenge for them
to meet driver,                        to develop wheelchair accessible vehicles, which would be easy
passenger and                          simple and quick for drivers to use, whilst comfortable and safe for
commercial
viability                              passengers. The company was met with very little interest from the
requirements                           manufacturing industry, who didn’t perceive it as a prime market
                                       with which to engage. However, National Express was eventually
                                       able to form a partnership with a Portuguese manufacturer,
                                       Caetano, and two other engineering firms, PLS and NMI who were
                                       specialists in lift design and tie-down mechanisms respectively.

                                       4.3.5         In 2006 National Express was finally able to
                                       introduce its first fully accessible coach – the Levante. The
                                       eventual design necessitated a complete re-structure of the front of
                                       the bus to incorporate a wider, less steep entrance and a ‘Magic
                                       Floor’ lift, which is incorporated into the doorway. The new
                                       disabled space requires the space of only two seats, one of which is
                                       swivelled round acting as the back rest for the wheelchair - hence
                                       only one passenger place is lost. The process is still not as quick to
                                       deploy as National Express would like, but controlled speeds are
                                       necessary to comply with health and safety requirements.

                                       4.3.6          As it was impossible to execute an immediate
                                       wholesale replacement of National Express’ 500-strong fleet58,
                                       Levante vehicles have had to be introduced pragmatically as it was
Careful scheduling
of accessible                          important to ensure that where accessible vehicles were in place,
services to create                     disabled passengers could be reassured of availability on outward
trust in the service                   and inbound journeys. This was imperative for customer care. As
                                       such, Levante vehicles have been brought in on a route-by-route
                                       basis. A growing number of services are fully operated by Levante
                                       vehicles59. It is expected that the entire fleet will take
                                       approximately five years to replace – the aim is to have all services
                                       fully accessible by 2012. This will be important with a view to the
                                       Olympic Games, which National Express view as a huge
                                       commercial opportunity.

                                       4.3.7          Aside from physical modifications to the coaches
                                       themselves, National Express has introduced a range of services to
                                       improve accessibility of its services for a wide range of passengers.
                                       All of National Express owned coach stations have been assessed
                                       for compliance with DDA requirements and are fully accessible, as
                                       are the majority of travel shops.




58
     Approximately three vehicles are introduced per month.
59
     At the time of writing, 13 National Express routes are fully served by Levante accessible coaches.



                                                                                                          31
                        4.3.8          The company also feel that it is essential to ensure
                        that disabled customers have as much information as possible to
                        assist them in their travel. The company operates to a Code of
Providing accurate      Practice ‘Serving our disabled customers’, which outlines the
information is a
key part of the
                        facilities and assistance that National Express offers and provides
accessibility service   all disabled passengers with a leaflet in advance of travel
                        (presuming they have booked in advance). This is important in
                        speeding up operations and provides reassurance to disabled
                        passengers. In addition, there is a dedicated help desk for less able
                        travellers and disabled customers are able to take advantage of a
                        50% discounted fare. A training DVD has also been produced for
                        drivers.

                        4.3.9          National Express admits that enhancing the
                        accessibility of its vehicles and service has not been without
                        challenges. Not only was it difficult to get manufacturers on board,
                        but the company is quite reliant on booking in advance, which
                        inhibits flexibility for disabled passengers. In addition, there are
                        issues with some infrastructure at coach stations which cannot
                        safely accommodate lift operations and the huge variety of
                        wheelchairs (for which there are no governing regulations for
                        manufacture) means that some disabled passengers have to be
                        turned away. Furthermore, investment has been substantial –
                        producing an accessible coach adds between £10-15,000 to the cost
                        of the vehicle. Numbers of disabled passengers to date has not been
                        large either – with no more than 20 people per year, which
                        compared to a passenger total of 18 million is minimal.

                        4.3.10         Creating facilities for disabled people, therefore, has
                        not been driven by commercial motives. The primary objective was
Accessibility           to meet legislative requirements. However, National Express also
improvements have
not been
                        recognises its social and moral obligations as a transport operator
commercially            and, as such, has very much embraced accessibility, rather than
driven but have         doing the bare minimum. It pro-actively markets itself as a
achieved social         provider of disabled transport and is ‘justifiably proud’ of the
benefits                achievements it has made in overcoming the considerable
                        challenges and becoming one of the market leaders in wheelchair-
                        friendly transportation.

                        4.3.11        For National Express, the overriding issue is to
                        ensure accessibility for everyone – disabled people should be able
                        to access coach services, but by making provisions to
                        accommodate wheelchairs the comfort for other passengers should
                        not be compromised. The objective is to achieve accessibility for
                        everyone.




                                                                                           32
                                     Fastway
                                     4.3.12        Fastway operates in and around Crawley, Horley and
                                     Gatwick in West Sussex and Surrey. Originating in the late 1990s
                                     its purpose was to provide a fast and efficient link to Gatwick and
                                     tackle congestion and pollution by reducing the number or private
                                     cars on the road. It was developed by a partnership comprising
                                     West Sussex County Council; Surrey County Council; Reigate &
                                     Banstead Borough Council; Crawley Borough Council; British
                                     Airways; BAA Gatwick and the Fastway operators - Metrobus and
                                     the Go-Ahead group.

                                     4.3.13           The service is a bus-based public transport system
                                     that prides itself on providing ‘comfortable, reliable and efficient
                                     alternative to the private car’60. It has been specifically designed to
                                     by-pass congestion hotspots; its satellite based global positioning
                                     system (GPS) technology enables the Fastway system to give up-
                                     to-the-minute timetable information to passengers, track the
                                     location of vehicles to help maintain schedules and gain priority at
                                     traffic lights if the bus is running behind schedule.

                                     4.3.14        Fastway buses are branded and easily recognisable
Fastway vehicles                     with CCTV cameras inside for passenger safety and driver
and infrastructure
have been designed
                                     awareness. All Fastway facilities are DDA complaint; each bus has
to meet                              space for wheelchairs and pushchairs and dual doors for easy
accessibility                        access. Most bus stops (where highway locations permit) are
requirements                         purpose built for accessibility, with proper waiting facilities. Local
                                     disabled groups in Crawley were consulted in the design of the
                                     service.

                                     4.3.15         As such,      Fastway     demonstrates excellent
                                     accessibility credentials. However, as with the National Express
Accessibility                        fleet, improving access for disabled and reduced mobility
improvements                         passengers has not been driven by a commercial imperative.
provide benefits
for all users
                                     Considering the proportion of disabled passengers, accessibility
                                     adaptations would never have been solely concerned with getting
                                     ‘bums on seats’61. Rather, making vehicles accessible was driven
                                     by DDA legislative requirements. In addition, however, there has
                                     been an appreciation that introducing accessibility improvements
                                     makes a difference for everybody. This is important in fulfilling the
                                     objective of making Fastway a high quality service.

                                     Merseyrail
                                     4.3.16          Merseyrail is committed to helping customers with
A series of
accessibility
                                     disabilities or restricted mobility in making journeys. Over recent
improvements have                    years, a significant amount of improvements have been made to the
been made across                     Merseyrail network, including a major re-fit of its trains. All 59
the Merseyrail                       trains of the operator’s fleet were refurbished by August 2005, with
network                              a wide central aisle to accommodate wheelchair passengers, as well
                                     as a Customer Information System (CIS) with electronic screens
                                     and voice announcements. In 2006 a £32 million fully accessible
                                     station was opened at Liverpool South Parkway.


60
     http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/ccm/content/roads-and-transport/public-transport/fastway/all-about-fastway.en?page=3
61
     Information received through consultation with Surrey County Council.



                                                                                                                         33
                                     4.3.17          As is the case with many other train operating
                                     companies, Merseyrail does recommend that arrangements are
                                     made in advance to ensure that staff are aware of passenger needs.
                                     Only one hour’s notice is required because all stations are staffed
                                     from the first train in the morning to the last train at night.

                                     Accessibility enhancements since 2003 have included:


                   Aigburth       Ainsdale        Birkendale       Birkdale   Formby   Hooton    Hoylake       Maghull
                                                  Park
Disabled
toilet
Automatic
doors
Drop kerb
Tactile
paving
Raise and
lower
counter
CIS
Heated
shelters
Additional
seating
Disabled
parking
spaces

                                     4.3.18        There are also a series of projects which are either
                                     underway or planned for 2008/09 including:
                                     • CIS – 12 stations
                                     • Disabled toilets – 4 stations
                                     • Lifts – 3 stations
                                     • Raise and lower counters – 3 stations
                                     • Station re-builds (to include lifts, heated shelters, CS and
                                         disabled toilets)

                                     4.3.19         Merseyrail states that accessibility improvements
                                     have been driven by a combination of legislation, social/moral and
Disabled people are                  business imperatives. The company, similarly to other operators,
not the sole
                                     also works on the ‘common sense’ approach that improving
beneficiaries of
accessible facilities                facilities for disabled people will be of benefit all passengers.
                                     Merseyrail considers that this is proving effective given the
                                     increase in patronage numbers year on year62. Figures taken from
                                     annual snapshot surveys show that between 1997/1998 and
                                     2006/2007 patronage has increased by 34%.63




62
     Information received through consultation with Merseyrail.
63
     Merseytravel (2007): ‘Annual Passenger Services Monitor 2006/07’



                                                                                                          34
                                 Transport for London (TfL) – Docklands Light Railway
                                 4.3.20         The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) was the first
                                 fully accessible railway in the UK. All DLR stations have a lift or
                                 ramp access to platforms, with level access onto the trains. All lifts
                                 have alarms which link directly with members of DLR staff if any
                                 problems are experienced. The gap between the platform edge and
                                 the train is approximately 7.5 cm wide and the step up and down
                                 from the platform to the train is approximately 5cm high. These
                                 levels allow easier access for most passengers.

                                 Heathrow Express
                                 4.3.21        Heathrow Express is operated by British Airports
                                 Authority (BAA). It offers four direct journeys between London's
                                 Paddington station, every 15 minutes each hour; the service takes
                                 approximately 15 minutes. Operated by BAA, Heathrow Express
                                 carries an average of 15,000 passengers every day and over 30
                                 million people have travelled on the service since its launch in
                                 1998.64


                                 4.3.22          Heathrow Express trains have been designed to be
                                 level with the platform, making disabled access easier and also
                                 assisting those with luggage. Wheelchair ramps are provided to
                                 bridge the wider gap on the curved section of the platform at
                                 Paddington station. There is one toilet (including disabled
                                 facilities) to every three carriages. The Heathrow Express service
                                 also features onboard Express TV systems, and/or train staff
                                 make audio announcements.


                                 4.3.23         Interchange facilities are accessible on arrival at
Confidence in
                                 both Paddington and Heathrow. Car parks with accessible
offering disabled                facilities are provided by BAA at each Heathrow Airport
passengers easy                  Passenger Terminal, whilst accessible parking facilities are
transit and                      provide by Network Rail at Paddington. Station signage also
interchange                      utilises large contrasting colours of white letters on a dark blue
                                 backgrounds to assist visually impaired customers. In addition, all
                                 staff in direct contact with customers receive formal training in
                                 disability awareness. Within its DPPP Heathrow states its
                                 confidence that ‘customers with disabilities can make journeys
                                 without prior arrangement.’65




64
     https://www.heathrowexpress.com/content.asp?SID={5633F1A2-941E-43EF-B87F-99C5F12644F1}&pageid=73
65
     Heathrow Express (2007): ‘Disabled people’s Protection Policy’



                                                                                                        35
     5          Accessibility in the South East
                                   5.0.1         Numerous regional documents have been reviewed
                                   as part of this study to ensure an appreciation of the public
                                   transport, accessibility and tourism priorities in the South East.
                                   This chapter provides a comprehensive review of the current
                                   agendas within the region, helping to highlight the regional
                                   significance of accessibility.


     5.1             Characteristics of the region

                                   5.1.1          The South East encompasses 19 county and unitary
                                   authorities and 55 districts, stretching in an arc around London,
                                   from Thanet in the South East to the New Forest in the South West
                                   and to Aylesbury Vale and Milton Keynes in the northwest66. It is
                                   the largest region in the United Kingdom in population terms, with
                                   8,237,800 residents67.

                                   5.1.2           Economically, the South East performs well relative
The South East is                  to other regions. Between 1997 and 2003 the South East had the
one of the largest                 highest rates of economic productivity and employment. 2004/05
and economically                   figures revealed the region to be the largest net contributor to the
successful regions
                                   Exchequer68. In addition, the South East is second only to London
                                   it terms of its economic competitiveness, with an average GVA per
                                   capita of £21,514 compared to the UK average of £18,63169.

                                   5.1.3          Not only is the South East region one of the most
                                   economically successful regions in the country but it is also
                                   distinctive in that it acts as the UK’s main gateway to and from
                                   Europe and the rest of the world. It is home to the world’s busiest
                                   car ferry port at Dover and the country’s busiest cruise liner ports
The South East                     at Southampton and Dover, which are particularly important in
plays a pivotal role               terms of tourism. Heathrow Airport, is close to the border between
in the national and                London and the South East, whilst Gatwick Airport, the second
European transport                 busiest in the UK is located within the region70. The South East
system
                                   also boasts access to the Channel Tunnel via the international rail
                                   stations at Ashford and Ebbsfleet. Furthermore, the region’s
                                   proximity to, and economic relationship with, London are further
                                   significant strengths71. In short, the region plays a pivotal role in
                                   the wider European transport system and, as such, is important in
                                   supporting economic and social activity72 within the UK overall.




66
   South East Partnership for the 2012 games (2007b): ‘ South East Strategy and Olympic Transport Plan submission’
67
   Office of National Statistics (ONS) (2006)
68
   SEEDA (2006b): ‘The Regional Economic Strategy 2006 – 2015. The evidence base’
69
   ONS (2006):
70
   South East Partnership for the 2012 games (2007b): Op. cit.
71
   Southern and South East England Tourist Board (2006): ‘Tourism ExSEllence – The Strategy for Tourism in the South East’
72
   South East England Regional Assembly (2006c): Op. cit.



                                                                                                                         36
                                  5.1.4          Given its unique status, ensuring that the transport
                                  system is efficient, effective and inclusive is particularly important
                                  in the South East. The Regional Economic Strategy (RES) (2006)
An effective                      endorses this view, highlighting that an effective public transport
transport system is               system is essential to realising the region’s competitiveness. It is
key to the region’s
productivity
                                  identified as crucial to overcoming the challenges of reducing road
                                  congestion and pollution levels, creating travel choice, managing
                                  demand and facilitating modal shifts. As such, the RES states that
                                  investment in and usage of public transport should be prioritised
                                  wherever possible73.

                                  5.1.5          The South East Plan Implementation Plan (2006),
                                  however, highlights some concerns about the region’s potential to
                                  meet its public transport requirements, suggesting that that the
                                  region has suffered from a degree of under-investment, compared
                                  with both its needs and the level of investment made in other
The South East’s
unique status puts
                                  regions, especially in respect of transport and affordable housing. It
pressure on the                   considers that this legacy of past under-investment has served to
domestic transport                constrain the region from realising its full economic potential. It is
system                            argued in South East Plan Implementation Plan that between
                                  £12,527,000 and £27,965,000 will be required for the delivery of
                                  the transport infrastructure necessary for the region’s
                                  development74. Whilst international infrastructure is beneficial in
                                  terms of the links they facilitate, it is widely acknowledged within
                                  regional policy documents that these characteristics also place a
                                  substantial strain on the region’s domestic resources and transport
                                  system75.

     5.2             The accessibility agenda in the South East

                                  5.2.1           Reference to improving accessibility, in terms of
                                  easing travel for people with disabilities or reduced mobility,
                                  receives little mention in regional policy and planning documents
                                  in the South East.




73
   SEEDA (2006a): ‘Regional Economic Strategy 2006 – 2016’
74
   South East England Regional Assembly (2006b): ‘South East Plan Implementation Plan’
75
   South East England Regional Assembly (2006c): ‘Op. cit.



                                                                                                     37
                                     5.2.2          The South East Plan (2006) includes priorities to
                                     increase the level of accessibility in the region through enhancing
                                     public transport, walking, cycling and demand responsive travel
                                     options. However the Plan largely equates accessibility with
                                     proximity to services and the availability of transportation to and
                                     from these. There are no specific priorities related to improving
                                     disabled access or overcoming barriers for people with mobility
                                     difficulties. The same is true of the Transport Chapter of the
                                     Examination in Public (EiP) Panel Report on the South East Plan
                                     (2007), which talks exclusively about accessibility in terms of the
                                     transport network and its links across the region, rather than any
                                     challenges that may be in place preventing certain sections of the
                                     population from using it76. However, it is worth stating that the
                                     related aims of encouraging behavioural change to reduce car
                                     dependence is well emphasised in the Plan as is the relation of this
                                     to the promotion of social inclusion.

                                     5.2.3          Viewing accessibility in broader terms, and
                                     developing associated solutions, is a growing necessity in the South
                                     East due to the region’s demographic composition. 2006 mid-year
                                     estimates show the number of those over 65 stands at nearly
                                     1,360,000 (16.5% of the regional population). In addition, as
                                     highlighted in the draft South East Plan, the population in the South
                                     East is getting older; the proportion of the people over 65 is
                                     forecast to have grown substantially by 2026 and is projected to
Demographic                          increase to 18.4% and 22.6% in 2012 and 2027 respectively77.
trends in the South                  Whilst it is acknowledged that this will increase the demand for
East highlight the
importance of an                     health and social facilities, these population trends are likely to also
accessible                           give rise to a higher proportion of people with mobility difficulties
transport system                     (which traditionally onset with age). It is also the case that older
                                     people are likely to be more reliant on public transport due to the
                                     affordability of operating their own car and the physical health
                                     required to drive78. Public transport infrastructure will be required
                                     to absorb this demand.

                                     5.2.4          In addition, according to latest figures over a quarter
                                     of a million people in the South East are claiming Disability Living
                                     Allowance79. The map below highlights the distribution of these
                                     claimants across each county or unitary authority within the region.




76
   Government Office South East (GOSE) (2007): ‘Transport Chapter of the Panel Report (Inspector’s Report into the South
East Plan / EiP Panel)’
77
   South East England Regional Assembly (2006a): ‘Draft South East Plan’
78
   DfT (2000): ‘Social exclusion and the provision of public transport’. Case studies undertaken as part of this report highlighted
the transport issues faced by older people.
79
   ONS (2007)



                                                                                                                                38
                      5.2.5           Higher concentrations of disabled people in certain
                      parts of the region, as indicated above, may also require local
                      consideration in planning terms, as will the objective to attract and
                      retain visitors, of all types, in accordance with tourism objectives
                      and to maximise gains from the forthcoming Olympic and
                      Paralympic Games. An easy-to-use transport system is likely to be
                      a significant factor in the achievement of these aims.

        5.3    Responding to the 2012 agenda
                      5.3.1          Given the wide range of international gateways in
                      the South East, as discussed above, it is unsurprising that the South
The South East will   East Partnership for the 2012 Games has been keen to assert the
play a key part in    need for the South East to be at the heart of Olympic transport
securing an           planning. In its Olympic Plan submission the Partnership and
effective transport
                      Regional Transport Board argued that greater attention should be
system for the
Games                 given to the role of the South East in delivering the best Games
                      ever and its crucial position in securing strategic transport linkages
                      with London. Its contribution to supporting the London transport
                      system is considered fundamental80.




80
     Ibid.



                                                                                         39
                                    5.3.2          In order to make the most of the transformational
                                    opportunities presented to the region, a South East Partnership for
                                    the 2012 Games was developed with six working groups,
                                    comprising regional partners and stakeholders. Improving
                                    accessibility of disabled people (not just to the public transport
                                    network, but also to other services and facilities) is a pronounced
                                    part of the South East’s 2012 strategy81.

                                    5.3.3          The six working groups have pledged to ensure that
                                    the needs of disabled people are fully identified and addressed; it is
Accessibility has
been mainstreamed
                                    one of the region’s key objectives. Married to this is a keenness to
into the South                      use both the Olympic and Paralympic Games as a catalyst to effect
East’s 2012                         a culture change, resulting in increased opportunities for disabled
planning                            people82. The RES promotes the Paralympic Games as an
                                    opportunity to focus on equal opportunities, which should manifest
                                    itself by access issues, both physically and intellectually83.

                                    5.3.4         Very specific actions are set out by the South East
                                    Partnership in ‘Compete, create, collaborate for a world class
                                    performance: South East offer for the 2012 Games’, in order to
                                    ensure that the needs of disabled people are fully identified and
                                    addressed. The South East Partnership has committed to:

                                    •    Deliver and encourage the use of access audits at venues and
                                         destinations, including Eton Dorney.
                                    •    Deliver a welcome training package to facility and
                                         accommodation providers.
                                    •    Create an improved information resource on facilities and
                                         travel for disabled people by 2012.

                                    5.3.5         The South East Partnership pledges to conduct a
                                    minimum of two access audits every year from 2007 to 2010,
                                    deliver an additional 100 training opportunities per annum from
                                    2007 to 2012 and provide an improved information source for
                                    disabled people84.




81
   South East Partnership for the 2012 Games (2007): Op. cit.
82
   Ibid.
83
   SEEDA (2006a): Op. cit.
84
   South East Partnership for the 2012 Games (2007): Op. cit.



                                                                                                       40
        5.4            Local good practice
                                    5.4.1          It is worth noting that a review of Local Transport
                                    Plans (LTPs) within the South East revealed that some county and
Several local                       unitary local authorities include in their definition and priorities for
authorities are                     accessibility the need to tackle the problems being faced by people
demonstrating a
commitment to
                                    with reduced mobility in using existing transport infrastructure.
accessibility                       Some authorities have convened advisory forums or consult
                                    directly with disabled groups during the development of transport
                                    policy to maximise its accessibility credentials (e.g.
                                    Buckinghamshire, Kent, Slough) and there is evidence of the use of
                                    Quality Bus Partnerships (e.g. Bracknell Forest, Buckinghamshire,
                                    Surrey) to make access for reduced-mobility passengers easier.
                                    There are a handful of local transport authorities which dedicate
                                    considerable attention to meeting accessibility objectives for less
                                    able commuters. These examples are showcased below.

                                    Bracknell Forest
                                    5.4.2           A broad interpretation of accessibility is applied in
                                    Bracknell Forest’s LTP85, in which providing access to a range of
                                    transport modes for people with disabilities and mobility
                                    difficulties is prominent theme. The authority established a Quality
                                    Bus Partnership with First Group to increase the use of high
                                    quality, accessible vehicles and make improvements at bus stops
                                    for people with reduced mobility.

                                    5.4.3          Several proposals for accessibility enhancements are
                                    within the plan. For example the authority states its intention to
                                    work with rail bodies to realise improvements to the westbound
                                    platform of Bracknell Rail Station and working with First Group to
                                    roll out more low floor buses.

                                    5.4.4         The LTP is aligned with Bracknell Forest’s Local
                                    Strategic Partnership’s aim of invigorating use of the public
                                    transport network for the benefit of all, especially for young people
                                    and people with a disability.

                                    Brighton and Hove
                                    5.4.5          Brighton and Hove is also committed to enhancing
                                    accessibility for disabled people as testified by its plans to extend
                                    its programme of accessible bus stops (which make boarding and
                                    alighting easier for people with buggies, shopping trolleys and
                                    mobility impairments) and by enhancing all local rail stations
                                    across the City through the provision of better physical access and
                                    disabled access ramps. Brighton and Hove’s LTP86 also includes
                                    the target for 70% of the bus fleet to be wheelchair accessible by
                                    2010/11 and 100% by 2017.




85
     Bracknell Forest (2006): ‘Local Transport Plan’
86
     Brighton and Hove (2006): ‘Local Transport Plan 2006/07 – 2010/2011’



                                                                                                         41
                                       Buckinghamshire
                                       5.4.6           Buckinghamshire’s LTP87 devotes considerable
                                       attention to satisfying mobility/accessibility needs of disabled
                                       people. The county commits itself to:
                                       • liaising with access and disabled representative groups to help
                                           identify mobility/accessibility problems and achieve solutions
                                       • adopting current recommended DfT or DPTAC standards when
                                           upgrading or developing all new transport infrastructure
Authorities have
                                       • increasing the availability of fully accessible buses by:
chosen a variety of
ways in which to                           o specifying that vehicles meet current accessibility
progress local                                  standards for any new contracted local bus services,
accessible services                             especially for routes which the elderly or disabled are
                                                likely to be heavily reliant
                                           o continuing to work with commercial operators to upgrade
                                                services on the core bus network through the establishment
                                                of Quality Bus Partnerships and committing to the cost of
                                                upgrading buses to meet DDA requirements
                                       • encourage and assist public transport operators to implement
                                           staff disability awareness training

                                       Kent
                                       5.4.7         The difficulties experienced by people with mobility
                                       impairments in travelling around the county are acknowledged in
                                       Kent’s LTP88 and improving accessibility is stated as a key
                                       objective. The authority states its commitment to understating the
                                       needs of different disabled groups and building them into transport
                                       planning to help create a barrier free environment not only for
                                       disabled and mobility reduced people but also for older people and
                                       those with luggage and pushchairs. Investing in improving
                                       conditions for people with mobility impairments is featured within
                                       the county’s accessibility strategy.

                                       5.4.8           Work is also being carried out in Kent to ensure a
                                       more effective distribution of public transport information to
                                       disabled people. Booklets for East, Mid and West Kent are being
                                       developed to give information on those bus services and train
                                       stations that are accessible.




  87
       Buckinghamshire County Council: ‘Local Transport Plan’
  88
       Kent County Council (2006): ‘Local Transport Plan 2006 - 2011’



                                                                                                       42
                                   Slough
                                   5.4.9         Making transport systems accessible to all, including
                                   those with physical impairments is a specific objective of Slough’s
                                   LTP89. The authority seeks to overcome the physical barriers
                                   preventing people with mobility impairments from gaining access
                                   to the transport system. Slough will promote bus infrastructure
                                   which allows level boarding and alighting, more buses with low
                                   floor or kneeling capability and gradual replacement of stepped
                                   access at bus, coach and rail stations. Also recognised is the
                                   importance of adequate training of front line staff so that they are
                                   well equipped to assist mobility-impaired passengers, thereby,
                                   eroding barriers to accessibility further. Slough works with
                                   representative groups to identify measures which would make the
                                   most difference for those with mobility impairments and mental
                                   disabilities.


     5.5              Tourism in the South East
                                   5.5.1          Tourism is a significant sector in the South East,
                                   generating £10 billion of spending which is equivalent to 7% of
                                   regional GDP – with the potential for sustainable growth. It already
                                   supports an estimated 225,000 jobs. Tourism is a force for
                                   economic regeneration, helps support community and cultural
                                   facilities and projects a positive image for the region90. Tourism
                                   South East’s mission is to deliver a step change in the performance
                                   of the industry; as part of its 2012 strategy it has set itself a
                                   stretching target of achieving a £1billion extra revenue target by
                                   2015.

                                   Transport issues
                                   5.5.2          Whilst transport is accepted as being a key factor in a
                                   successful tourist economy, the South East’s Tourism Strategy
                                   acknowledges that travel within the region is not always easy and
An accessible                      is often congested. Whilst there is an extensive rail network,
transport network                  quality and reliability tends to be poor and travel to and from
could be essential
                                   London is easier than cross-regional travel. Even though two thirds
to attracting and
retaining more                     of UK overseas visitors enter through the South East, only a quarter
visitors                           of them stay within in the region. In the view of TSE, transport
                                   services tend to be far more geared towards the needs of residents
                                   rather than visitors exacerbating the challenges posed by the
                                   securing visitors in the South East’ tourism market91.

                                   5.5.3          With the Olympics on the horizon and the afore
                                   mentioned economic gains to be reaped, the imperative to improve
                                   transport links within the South East to boost its attractiveness as a
                                   tourism location, are becoming ever more critical.




89
   Slough (2006): ‘Local Transport Plan 2006 – 2011’
90
   Southern and South East England Tourist Board (2006): Op. cit.
91
   Ibid.



                                                                                                      43
                                  Accessibility of tourism locations
                                  5.5.4         Accessibility within the UK’s tourism industry itself
                                  receives few accolades. The national tourism strategy92 highlights
                                  that only 2% of accommodation has been assessed as fully
                                  accessible to wheelchair users and fewer that 100 of the 10,000
                                  new-build hotel rooms in 2004/05 met that standard.

                                  5.5.5           The Department of Culture Media and Sport
                                  (DCMS) recognises the need to improve the industry’s awareness
                                  of the needs of travellers with disabilities. Since 1993 a National
                                  Accessible Scheme has offered hotels and guesthouses help to
                                  make their accommodation more accessible and since April 2007
                                  the Department has insisted that accredited hoteliers have an access
                                  statement. The DCMS is also developing a Code of Practice with
                                  the industry to improve accessibility. It is working with Tourism
                                  for All to develop an internet check list for destinations, provide
                                  better information about the accessibility of accommodation and
                                  attractions. It also intends to conduct research into ways in which
                                  to make the National Accessible Scheme more attractive93.

                                  5.5.6          On a regional level, Tourism South East also
                                  recognises the importance of improving accessibility for disabled
                                  visitors and the potential benefits that can be reaped by the tourism
National and                      industry94. It is well understood that improving accessibility of
regional guidance                 venues will net more visitor numbers in general. Not only will
has been produced                 accessible sites be more attractive to disabled visitors but it is also
to help those in the
tourism industry to
                                  likely that they will be accompanied by friends, family or carers. In
make facilities                   addition, ease of moving around at the venue is likely to encourage
more accessible                   repeat visits. Like all patrons these people will contribute to
                                  income through paying entrance fees and purchasing guidebooks,
                                  gifts and refreshments.

                                  5.5.7           In September 2004 it published a refreshed version
                                  of its ‘Creating Accessible Tourism’95 guide to help attractions
                                  fulfil their responsibilities under the DDA and make the most of all
                                  available opportunities. The guide provides a comprehensive
                                  briefing to providers about ways in which they can create a fully
                                  accessible environment, covering issues such as parking bays,
                                  reception facilities, signage, toilets and step free options to name
                                  but a few. It also recommends that tourist attractions undertake an
                                  access audit as a pre-cursor for developing an action plan to
                                  increase accessibility over a defined time period and scale
                                  appropriate to the type of business.

                                  5.5.8          Whilst there is evidence of encouraging signs of
                                  progress within the industry itself, tourism bodies are still
                                  somewhat dependent on transport infrastructure to ensure that those
                                  with reduced mobility are actually able to travel to the accessible
                                  attractions that are put in place.



92
   Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) (2007): ‘Winning: A tourism strategy for 2012 and beyond’
93
   DCMS (2007): Op cit.
94
   Tourism South East (2004): ‘Creating Accessible Tourism’
95
   Ibid.



                                                                                                             44
    6      Mapping transport accessibility in the South East
                       6.0.1          So far, this study has reviewed the importance of
                       accessibility, examined progress within the industry, summarised
                       potential economic gains, identified good practice examples and
                       reviewed the accessibility policy context within the South East. To
                       complete the picture of accessibility credentials in the region, TSE
                       and the Assembly requested the completion of a mapping exercise
                       to reveal the current level of access on the region’s public transport
                       network. This process has involved a strategic look at provision of
                       rail and bus services in the South East.

                       6.0.2           In addition a more detailed examination of the
                       facilities that exist at key transport hubs and interchanges in the
                       region was undertaken. The 19 hubs selected for detailed
                       examination, were chosen due to their importance as a transport
                       interchange, their inclusion in 2012 plans or their primacy as a
                       tourism location. The selected locations are listed below under
                       local authority headings.

                        Authority                          Regional Hub
                        Brighton and Hove City Council     Brighton
                        Buckinghamshire County Council     High Wycombe
                        East Sussex County Council         Hastings
                                                           Newhaven
                        Hampshire County Council           Basingstoke
                        Kent County Council                Ashford International
                                                           Canterbury
                                                           Dover Priory
                                                           Ebbsfleet International
                                                           Maidstone
                        Milton Keynes Council              Milton Keynes
                        Oxfordshire County Council         Oxford
                        Portsmouth City Council            Portsmouth
                        Reading Borough Council            Reading
                        Slough Borough Council             Slough
                        Southampton City Council           Southampton
                        Surrey County Council              Guildford
Transport hubs          West Sussex County Council         Gatwick Airport
have both economic      Royal Borough of Windsor and       Windsor
and tourism             Maidenhead                         Maidenhead
significance for the
South East
                       6.0.3          It should be noted that, the table above does not
                       include a list of all the regional hubs – Aylesbury, Chatham,
                       Reigate/Redhill, Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells and Woking are also
                       identified in the South East Plan as key South East transport hubs,
                       but have not been included in this study.




                                                                                          45
       6.1            Rail station accessibility
                                   6.1.1          The Assembly asked us to look at a total of 431
                                   stations in the South East. Information on access at these stations
                                   was relatively easy to assemble; National Rail has dedicated pages
                                   for disabled passengers on its website which provide a detailed
                                   overview of the facilities available96. We were, however, unable to
                                   access information for five of the stations on the list97. As such, the
                                   total number of stations in the region that we looked at was 426.

                                   6.1.2          The following map shows the levels of access across
                                   the South East’s rail network. Of the 426 stations the following
                                   classifications apply:

                                   •     43 (10%) stations are fully accessible (where all platforms are
                                         step free and staff are always available to help)
10% of rail stations
in the South East                  •     189 (44%) are partially accessible (all platforms are step free
are fully accessible                     but staff are not always on duty to assist)
                                   •     195 (46%) remain inaccessible to disabled and reduced
                                         mobility passengers (some or all stations have step access and
                                         staff are not always available to assist)




  96
    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/passenger_services/disabled_passengers/
  97
    Information was unavailable for Chesham Underground, Yarmouth (Isle of Wight), Dover Western Docks, Folkestone Harbour
  and Ditton.



                                                                                                                      46
47
                                   6.1.3          It should be noted that those stations listed as fully
                                   accessible do not necessarily accord with all DDA requirements, as
                                   step-free access is not the only measure of compliance (equality of
                                   usage to all services is also important)98.

                                   6.1.4          The 43 accessible stations are distributed fairly
                                   evenly across the region. It is perhaps worth noting that four
Overall                            authorities (Bracknell Forest, Slough, West Berkshire and
accessibility of rail
stations remains
                                   Wokingham) do not house any fully accessible stations, although
poor …                             all of these are relatively small in terms of geographical coverage.
                                   The authorities with most accessible stations within their
                                   boundaries are Kent, West Sussex and Hampshire, but considering
                                   the spatial dimensions of these areas, coverage is still very patchy;
                                   accessible stations only represent 8% (Kent and Hampshire) and
                                   10% (West Sussex) of all station facilities within the respective
                                   authority boundaries.

                                   6.1.5           One positive discovery, emerging from this research
                                   is that the vast majority of rail stations at the 19 key transport hubs
                                   and interchanges are fully accessible. The exceptions are
… however, access
facilities at key                  Canterbury West (although Canterbury East is fully accessible),
transport hubs                     Hastings, Maidstone East and Newhaven (both Harbour and Town
tends to be good                   stations), which are all only partially accessible. Slough and
                                   Maidstone West are the only two hubs which are presently
                                   classified as inaccessible. Only Canterbury West is earmarked for
                                   improvements under the DfT’s ‘Access for All’ programme.

     6.2             Bus service accessibility
                                   6.2.1          Gathering data on bus services across the region was
                                   considerably more complex than for the rail industry, due in part to
Gathering bus                      the multiplicity of bus operators and routes within the region and
service information
is a complex
                                   the absence of a central point of information, such as National Rail.
process                            This explains the few gaps in the data below. Data was contributed
                                   via a mixture of operators and local authorities so it was not
                                   necessarily presented in consistent formats.

                                   6.2.2          We were asked to investigate the accessibility of bus
                                   fleets within the region by looking at numbers of accessible
                                   vehicles and numbers of accessible routes (where passengers can
                                   be guaranteed an accessible vehicle) within each of the 19 local
                                   transport authorities within the region. The table on the following
                                   page summarises the results of our search. Continued effort has
                                   been made to get the relevant data, however some gaps do remain,
                                   we were unable to make contact with the relevant operator or local
                                   authority representative.




98
   Contact has been made with National Rail requesting data on DDA compliant stations, although no response has as yet been
received.



                                                                                                                          48
     Local authority             Main operator (s)                Number of accessible           Number of accessible
                                                                          buses                        routes
Bracknell Forest             First                               100% of fleet will be           Unknown99
                                                                 low-floor; 60% will be
                                                                 fully accessible (from
                                                                 May 2008)
Brighton and Hove            Brighton and Hove Buses             195                             24
Buckinghamshire              Arriva; Carousel                    64 (65 from April               37
                                                                 2008)
East Sussex                  Brighton and Hove Buses             21                              Unknown
Hampshire                    Stagecoach                          170                             23
Isle of Wight                Southern Vectis                     31                              3
Kent                         Arriva; Stagecoach                  657 (Arriva only)               242 (Arriva only)
                                                                                                 16 (Stagecoach East
                                                                                                 Kent)
Medway                       Arriva                              100 plus                        Unknown
Milton Keynes                MK Metro                            51                              13
Oxfordshire                  Oxford Buses; Stagecoach            170 (100% fleet -               144
                                                                 Stagecoach only)
Portsmouth                   Stagecoach                          Unknown                         3
Reading                      Reading Buses; First                All of Reading Buses            All    Reading              Bus
                                                                 fleet will be accessible        services – 46
                                                                 from 25th February
                                                                 2008
Slough                       First                               100% of fleet (from             16 (100% of First
                                                                 May 2008)                       services from May
                                                                                                 2008)
Southampton                  First; Minerva (Uni-link);          Uni-link: 100% of               7 (4 Uni-link services,
                             Solent Blue Line                    vehicles; First: 50%;           3 Solent Blue Line);
                                                                 Solent Blue Line: 50%           First    cannot     yet
                                                                 of vehicles (97)                guarantee        100%
                                                                                                 accessible vehicles on
                                                                                                 routes
Surrey                       Arriva;    Countryliner;            325                             111
                             Metrobus
West Berkshire               Newbury Buses                       25                              Unknown
West Sussex                  Arriva; B & H Buses;                Arriva: 19 (Arriva –            Arriva: all when last
                             Stagecoach                          only have 1 remaining           stepped bus replaced;
                                                                 inaccessible vehicle in         B&H      Buses:    5;
                                                                 their fleet); Stagecoach:       Stagecoach: 9
                                                                 71
Windsor and                  Courtney Coaches; First             Courtney Coaches: 9;            Courtney Coaches: 4
Maidenhead                   Group                               White Bus: 1; First –           First: 9 (100% from
                                                                 100% from May 2008              May 2008)
Wokingham                    First Group                         100% of fleet will be           Unknown
                                                                 low-floor; 60% will be
                                                                 fully accessible (from
                                                                 May 2008)




99
  Where the number of accessible routes is unknown this often means that some operators cannot guarantee that all buses on
certain routes are fully accessible (even though it may usually be the case).



                                                                                                                             49
6.2.3          An attempt to provide an indicative assessment of
the level of bus accessibility in each area is shown in the figure
below. The authorities have been colour-coded on the basis of the
accessible services that are on offer. These crude classifications are
based on the number of accessible services within the authority
boundaries, however they have been cross referenced with the
geographical size of each area and the total resident population. We
calculated the total number of accessible bus services, which we
have been notified of, per sq km of the authority and per head of
the population. Where there was at least one route per 20 sq km
AND per 12,000 people in the authority area, the authority was
classified as having a higher level of bus service accessibility;
where this wasn’t the case the authority is classified as having a
lower level of bus accessibility. This has given us a more accurate
picture of proportional accessibility.




                                                                   50
51
                       6.2.4          It should be noted that the figures provide only an
                       overview of the accessible bus services in the region and should not
                       be taken as a providing a definitive picture of the accessibility for a
                       number of reasons. First, frequency of services is not considered –
                       for example a route which is listed as accessible may only operate
                       twice daily. Neither has information been gathered on distance or
                       destinations, which would be essential to gauge the level of access
                       to different types of public services or tourism locations.

                       6.2.5         Another key point to note, is that in this analysis
Due to the             ‘accessible’ bus services have been understood as low floor bus
inconsistencies of     services, which can safely accommodate wheelchair passengers on
data caution should    board. Vehicles and routes have not been assessed in regard to their
be exercised when
assessing              provision for those people with sensory or learning disabilities as
accessibility of the   there was not sufficient time or resources within in this study to
bus network            undertake this style of comprehensive audit. In addition, in most
                       cases only figures from the principal one or two operators have
                       been used, rather than every bus company in the area.

                       6.2.6           It is also important to bear in mind that whilst
                       accessible vehicles and routes may be available, this study has not
                       looked at the public highway infrastructure. It may be the case that
                       not all bus stops on officially designated ‘accessible’ routes are
                       designed to accommodate low-floor vehicles thereby limiting use
                       by people with mobility difficulties; no allowance has been made
                       for this in the data below.

                       6.2.7          Further, it is worth noting that we have not
                       considered Demand Responsive Travel (DRT) services as part of
                       this report. In some authorities DRT accessible provision may be
                       on offer, supplementing or substituting traditional bus services.
                       This is particularly likely to be the case in more rural areas such as
                       Hampshire and Kent.

                       6.2.8          Finally, the density and spatial dimension of the
                       county/unitary should be factored in, as should the distribution of
                       the routes across rural / urban areas, to highlight if there are any
                       significant disparities in types of services. These issues should be
                       considered if any comparison between authorities is made.




                                                                                           52
6.3   The overall picture
             6.3.1          The map below usefully highlights where in the
             region particular progress in accessibility has been made, whilst
             also revealing where facilities are lacking. It can be observed that
             the two authorities comprising southern belt around Greater
             London, Kent and Surrey, offer relatively high proportions of
             accessible bus services and also house a total of 13 (30%) of the
             region’s accessible stations. To the north and west of the region,
             most authorities (Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire, Windsor and
             Maidenhead, Reading, and Slough) are generally characterised with
             a reasonable level of accessible bus routes, although are served less
             well by rail. Between them the five authorities contain only seven
             accessible stations (only 16% of the South East total). Appendix B
             provides a more detailed overview of bus and rail accessibility by
             local transport authority.

             6.3.2           Standing out as having poorer levels of accessibility
             are Buckinghamshire and Hampshire which, proportional to their
             size and population have clear gaps in terms of both bus and train
             accessibility. It is worth noting that both counties’ LTPs rank well
             in terms of accessibility – but this, as discussed above in Chapter 2,
             largely refers to density of access and geographical proximity to
             transport nodes. Regarding the physical ability to use services
             within their boundaries, the authorities have relatively low
             percentages of accessible bus services and a combined total of only
             six (14% of the regional total) fully accessible rail stations.

             6.3.3          It is worth noting that in Hampshire the arterial route
             from Southampton through to Basingstoke and on to Reading is
             user-friendly to all customers. In addition, stations at hub locations
             in the counties are fully accessible. High Wycombe in
             Buckinghamshire is particularly well served by accessible bus
             services, with a total of 37 operating across the town. In addition,
             Buckinghamshire’s LTP does include specific objectives
             committing it to satisfying the accessibility needs of those with
             mobility impairments. However, in both counties, at present, public
             transport in more rural areas is unlikely to attract or be able to
             accommodate passengers with disabilities or mobility impairments.
             Where facilities are in need of considerable improvement, it is
             likely that tourism venues in the area will be less of an attractive
             opportunity and, where trips are attempted there would be a need
             and tendency to resort to private vehicles.

             6.3.4          A final point which is critical to consider is the
             absence of reliable bus data for six out of the 19 transport
             authorities, which has prevented a proper assessment of these areas.
             Providing and monitoring the South East accessibility profile will
             be dependent on the future ability to analyse information from all
             authorities. As such, there would be considerable utility in
             developing a way in which to plug these gaps.




                                                                                53
54
      6.4             Accessibility of key transport hubs
                                    6.4.1         Regional hubs form the basic building blocks for
Securing better                     transport development in the South East. The objective is to use the
access at regional                  hubs, connected by regional spokes, to focus the development of
transport hubs and                  quality transport services in a way that supports urban communities
interchanges is
particularly                        and the South East Plan’s objective of urban renaissance100. Local
important                           Transport Plans are expected to include policies and proposals that
                                    support and develop the level of accessibility101.

                                    6.4.2          It is recognised that the regional significance and
                                    interchange facilities of these hubs mean that the imperative to
                                    increase accessibility is particularly pronounced. Gatwick,
                                    Southampton, Ashford and Dover, for example, play a major part
                                    in accommodating the transit of visitors for the region and,
                                    therefore, their access credentials will be pivotal in enabling the
                                    South East to attract and assist the potential disabled market
                                    comprising 650 million people worldwide102.

                                    6.4.3          In this section of the report pen profiles were created
                                    for 19 key transport hubs selected by the Assembly and TSE for
                                    this study. These profiles present an outline picture of facilities that
                                    exist to ease the transit of disabled and reduced mobility people.
                                    Heathrow has not been included in this analysis, due to its location
                                    just outside the region’s borders. However, given its geographical
                                    proximity, Heathrow acts as a major conduit for visitors passing
                                    through and staying in the South East; as stated in the region’s
                                    submission to the Olympic Transport Plan submission: ‘[the]
                                    airport has a substantial spatial and economic linkage with South
                                    East England’103. This will only be magnified over the weeks
                                    before and during the 2012 Games.

                                    6.4.4          At present 469,000 air transport movements and 68
                                    million passengers per annum pass through Heathrow. Within
Heathrow, which is
a major gateway to
                                    agreed growth levels, Terminal 5 will boost annual passenger
the South East, has                 numbers to 89 million. The airport is equipped with good access
good access                         facilities such as induction loops, text phones, clear signage,
facilities                          reserved seating areas for disabled people, low level information
                                    screens and accessible toilets. As specified above the interchange
                                    with the train services at the airport offer easy access for all users.
                                    Such facilities are a clear advantage in attracting visitors with
                                    disabilities and reduced mobility.




100
    South East England Regional Assembly (2006c): Op. cit.
101
    South East England Regional Assembly (2006a): Op. cit.
102
    United Nations (2007): Op. cit.
103
    South East Partnership for the 2012 games (2007b): Op. cit.



                                                                                                         55
                                        6.4.5          The hub analysis considered facilities at rail stations,
                                        ports and airports and also recorded accessible bus services from/to
                                        each of these facilities. Appendix C contains the detailed pen
                                        profiles for each hub studied. The main findings are summarised
                                        below.
                                        • Train station accessibility is generally good at the key
                                            transport hub locations. Only Canterbury West, Maidstone
                                            (both East and West), Newhaven, Slough and Windsor and
Rail stations tend
                                            Eton Riverside are unable to offer completely accessible
to offer better
facilities than bus                         platforms.
services at the key                     • Bus services at hub venues fare less well. Brighton and Hove,
transport hubs.                             Guildford, High Wycombe, Oxford and Reading stand out as
                                            having a relatively high level of accessible services. However,
                                            many of the key transport hubs have fewer than five routes that
                                            can be guaranteed as being accessible.
                                        • Where accessible bus services do exist, they often do not
                                            run via the railway station. Only Milton Keynes104, Oxford
                                            and Reading can be considered as having good bus/train
                                            interchanges. It is worth noting, however, that in Dover,
                                            Portsmouth and Southampton accessible connecting buses run
                                            between the train station and the port. This will certainly act as
                                            a considerable aid to mobility.

        6.5               The wider implications
                                        6.5.1          Given the focus of this study, it is particularly
                                        important to consider the region’s accessibility credentials with
                                        regard to the forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games. The
                                        findings of the mapping exercise, do flag up areas for retention. As
                                        detailed above, the South East is home to Eton Dorney near to
                                        Windsor Castle. Dorney Lake will host the rowing, flatwater
                                        canoe/kayak and Paralympic rowing events with up to 30,000
                                        spectators expected each day. Maidenhead is in close proximity to
                                        Dorney Lake, but the two nearest stations are Slough and Windsor
                                        and Eton Riverside railway stations. As highlighted above, neither
                                        of these is able to offer completely accessible platforms and neither
                                        are they in line to benefit from the DfT’s Access for All
                                        Programme at this stage.

                                        6.5.2          In terms of bus services, both Slough and
                                        Maidenhead and Windsor are able to offer a good number of
                                        accessible bus routes. The Boroughs will be served by 100%
                                        wheelchair accessible vehicles from May 2008, which is
                                        encouraging. However, at present, only four bus services run
                                        directly via the train station in Slough and none do in Maidenhead
                                        or Windsor, which may make interchange between transport modes
                                        challenging for those with disabilities or reduced mobility.




104
      It should be noted that the bus terminal is not immediately adjacent to the rail station and lies some distance across the square.



                                                                                                                                    56
                                       6.5.3          In terms of the South East’s regional spokes, which
                                       indicate the main channels or corridors of movement within the
                                       region105, there are few that are characterised by optimum
                                       accessibility. There is particularly patchy provision along the South
                                       coast and in the South West of the region (West Berkshire,
                                       Hampshire and the Isle of Wight which) where there appear to be
                                       few accessible train or bus routes. The exception is the rail route
                                       from Southampton through to Basingstoke and Reading. Another
                                       regional spoke, relatively well equipped to offer accessible passage
                                       is the South East route from Dover through to Canterbury,
                                       Chatham and Ebbsfleet. Slightly to the west of this though,
                                       journeys via Maidstone and along the East Sussex spokes offer
                                       poor accessibility. In the North of the region, the picture is
                                       similarly sporadic.

                                       6.5.4          In short, whilst the key transport hubs are generally
                                       able to offer better accessibility than smaller local stations, the
                                       regional transport spokes are not equally supported by the
                                       availability of accessible rail routes or bus services. Whilst some
                                       spokes fair better than others, it is not possible to draw any tangible
                                       links between the major movement transport corridors and
                                       accessible facilities.




105
      See the South East Plan (page 97) for a diagram of the region’s spokes and key transport hubs.



                                                                                                           57
        7          Barriers to public transport accessibility

                                      7.0.1          The evidence presented in Chapter 6 reveals that the
                                      accessibility of the public transport system varies considerably
                                      across the region and remains, at best, patchy. Many of the key
                                      transport hubs analysed for this study are able to accommodate
                                      disabled customers, but bus services offering connecting services
                                      and transit are lacking, in all but a few places.

                                      7.0.2            This Chapter provides a detailed overview of the
Many barriers still
need to be                            difficulties that are faced by people with a disability and reduced
overcome to secure                    mobility when trying the use the existing public transport system.
access for disabled                   As importantly, it also considers the obstacles that operators and
and reduced                           local authorities encounter when attempting to provide access for
mobility customers
                                      all users. It is evident that there are multitude of barriers that need
                                      to overcome if public transport accessibility is to be maximised.

                                      7.0.3         Views and information presented in this section have
                                      been gathered at each stage of the study – during the desk research,
                                      consultations and, principally, at the stakeholder workshop event.

        7.1             Barriers for people with disabilities and reduced
                        mobility

                                      Lack of information
                                      7.1.1           Mentioned continuously throughout the course of
                                      this project was the lack of accurate and reliable information to
                                      assist disabled people with their travel needs. Consultees agreed
Public transport                      that it takes far more planning for disabled people to undertake a
information needs
to be readily                         journey, than it would do for their able-bodied counterparts. As
available …                           such, there is a particular reliance on access to relevant information
                                      about every component of the trip and, particularly, about the
                                      facilities at the final destination. The process of trying to find out
                                      the required details is often a frustrating experience especially for
                                      anyone with communication or learning impairments who may find
                                      telephone or web-based help-desks problematic to use.

                                      7.1.2          Accuracy and reliability of information was reported
                                      as imperative – it is vital in generating trust amongst users. There is
… accurate and                        a widespread lack of confidence in public transport systems
reliable …
                                      amongst disabled people due to the inherent uncertainty of some
                                      service provision. For example, whilst a low floor bus may be
                                      available on an outward leg, the same facilities cannot always be
                                      guaranteed on return. This is likely to create a significant
                                      disincentive to travel.106




106
      Scottish Government (2004): ‘Transport provision for disabled people in Scotland – Progress since 1998’



                                                                                                                58
                                     7.1.3          A study by the Disability Rights Commission (DRC)
                                     2006107 revealed that 26% of disabled person would not feel
… to encourage                       comfortable travelling alone on buses and trains compared with
disabled people to
use the network.
                                     only 6% of non-disabled passengers. DPTAC research has
                                     indicated that the provision of accurate information would
                                     encourage 39% of disabled people to take more advantage of
                                     public transport services108. Feeling assured about service
                                     reliability is key to regaining confidence in public transport
                                     services.

                                     7.1.4         Finally, the need for comprehensive information was
                                     raised. For example, project participants mentioned the value of
                                     destination information (hills / gradients around the station) and
                                     interchange facilities which can be very difficult for wheelchair
                                     users.

                                     Lack of flexibility
                                     7.1.5           Disabled passengers often need to book in advance –
                                     especially when travelling alone, as it is on these occasions that
                                     they will require more assistance. Although, in theory, all users are
Public transport
does not always                      within their rights to spontaneously turn up and travel109, in reality
allow flexibility                    this can be logistically difficult. There is a strong element of not
                                     wanting to take the risk as availability of help can be very hit and
                                     miss if not pre-booked. These factors combined mean that travel
                                     flexibility is considerably limited. This can act as a disincentive to
                                     opt for public modes, when a taxi or relative can provide a more
                                     ‘on demand’ service.

                                     Travelling in groups
                                     7.1.6          The limited (or, indeed, absence of) capacity on
                                     public transport vehicles to transport passengers in wheelchairs
                                     precludes group travel. This can act as a considerable barrier to use.
                                     Buses and coaches are only able to safely transport one wheelchair-
                                     user and whilst trains may have additional wheelchair spaces, the
                                     seats are distributed throughout the vehicle preventing
                                     companionship during travel. Prohibiting the opportunities to use
                                     public transport for group outings is particularly significant in
                                     terms of the tourism industry.




107
    DRC (2006): Op. cit.
108
    DPTAC (2002): Op. cit.
109
    Train operators, for example, only advise rather than formally require 24 hours notice of assistance needs.



                                                                                                                  59
                       Vehicle vs. infrastructure accessibility
                       7.1.7          The key distinction between vehicles and
                       infrastructure was raised by project participants. In the rail
                       industry, it was generally accepted that train vehicles can
Both vehicles AND      comfortably accommodate disabled passengers. However, it was
infrastructure need    noted that levels of access are not always replicated at the actual
to be accessible to
enable use by those    stations. There is often a mis-match between the vehicle and
with disabilities or   infrastructure standards, which often means that, whilst the
reduced mobility       carriages themselves might be accessible, travelling by train
                       remains unviable. Even step-free access to the platforms does not
                       always secure accessibility for wheelchair users, as there is rarely a
                       level transition between the platform and the train, so ramps and
                       assistance are still essential.

                       7.1.8         Similar incongruity is evident with bus travel.
                       Operators may be able to assure customers that a low floor bus
                       with a wheelchair space will be provided on a particular route.
                       However, this still does not guarantee the ability to use the service
                       as access onto the vehicle can be impeded due to the roadside kerb
                       height.

                       Staff attitudes and assistance
                       7.1.9         Another frequently mentioned issue, which can serve
                       to discourage disabled and reduced mobility users from opting for
                       public transport, is the attitudes of staff. Particular remarks were
Staff behaviour is a   made about manners of bus drivers and the speed with which they
key influencing        depart from stops, not always allowing sufficient time for disabled
factor                 or elderly customers to find a seat or park themselves into the
                       dedicated wheelchair place. This, it was highlighted, not only
                       presents a barrier to accessibility but also invokes queries about
                       health and safety.

                       7.1.10        Disability group representatives asserted the need for
                       professionalism from public transport personnel when they are
                       providing assistance to passengers who require it.

                       Perceptions and lack of encouragement from disabled groups
                       7.1.11        Perceptions of public transport held by disabled
                       people, it was continually noted, acts as a major barrier to use. It
Long- held,
                       was further acknowledged that this is an obstacle which will not be
perpetuated stereo-    easy to overcome. Disabled people will ‘need convincing’ due to
types are unhelpful    past poor experiences – the historical inaccessibility of the
                       railways, for example, is not necessarily easy to forget. There
                       appears to be a prevalent negative attitude towards public transport
                       and many disabled people are entrenched in the view that transport
                       operators do not do enough.

                       7.1.12        Transport operators suggested there is tendency for
                       people to concentrate on the bad news and that ‘scare stories’ (such
                       as disabled customers being transported in guard’s vans) have been
                       promulgated and allowed to prevail. These attitudes and
                       ‘mythologies’ act as a barrier against using public transport, which
                       can only be overcome through engagement of disabled groups.




                                                                                          60
                      Community transport ‘competition’
                      7.1.13         Raised by disability groups as a potential obstacle to
                      increasing public transport patronage amongst travellers with
                      particular assistance requirements is reliance on community
                      transport provision (e.g. Dial-a-ride). It was highlighted that this
                      often tends to offer a convenient, easy-to-use, door-to-door service,
                      and can be a more attractive option that a non-tailored service.

                      7.1.14          However, it was noted that much community
                      transport does not provide journeys at weekends and in the
Public transport
faces some
                      evenings and users also need to pre-book their journeys. These
‘competition’ from    factors make it restrictive in terms of flexibility of travel and can
community             limit the opportunities to socialise. It is also the case that it does not
transport             often permit service journeys which cross authority boundaries,
                      thereby precluding the opportunity to make trips which are further
                      a field, or even close by. There is a role, therefore, for public
                      transport to fill this gap – not least for weekend day trip outings.

    7.2        Barriers for transport operators

                      Wheelchair designs
                      7.1.15         There is a logistical and safety barrier for operators
                      in trying to accommodate wheelchair users due to the fact that there
There are external    is no standardised design and dimension regulations for
factors which are     wheelchairs. People are now able to order wheelchairs from a
beyond the control
of transport          variety of manufacturers worldwide and, as such, hundreds of
operators             different models are now on the market; each is unique and
                      required tie-down structures vary. During consultation with
                      National Express, the operator mentioned that they have found it
                      necessary to identify the main types of wheelchair to assess those
                      that they are able to carry. However, this inevitably means that
                      some customers are prevented from travelling with the company as
                      their safety cannot be guaranteed.

                      The franchising system
                      7.1.16          ATOC raised a structural barrier which is perhaps
                      delaying the progress towards improving accessibility standards in
                      the rail industry, which operators themselves are not directly
                      responsible for. At present, formal rail franchising criteria, which
                      the DfT uses to evaluate bids and award contracts, do not include
                      disability access as a scoring element. Whilst it receives reference,
                      accessibility does not have the sufficient weighting for train
                      operating companies to rate it as a high priority when planning
                      their services and investment. It may be the case that operators
                      choose the ‘bare minimum’ approach to meet the DDA, RVAR and
                      the Code of Practice rather than mainstreaming disabled access into
                      their thinking.




                                                                                            61
                     Lack of control over highways
                     7.1.17         The bus industry faces a barrier, which has already
                     been mentioned as an obstacle affecting disabled and reduced
                     mobility individuals. Essentially, whilst operators can make vehicle
                     improvements, they have no jurisdiction over public highway /
                     road infrastructure alterations; for these they are reliant on the local
                     transport authorities or private land owners. Several bus operators
                     have mentioned the inability to pull into kerbs properly due to the
                     inadequacy of a lay-by or parking obstructions. In short, this
                     prevents them from offering a guaranteed accessible service, even
                     when they have the fleet to do so.

                     7.1.18         In Ashford (Kent), for example, Stagecoach provides
Operators are        accessible services to the Designer Outlet. However, the lack of a
reliant on local     raised kerb at the Outlet prevents the low floor features of buses
authority action …   being utilised. It is worth noting that in Bracknell Forest, this
                     problem has been addressed through a Quality Bus Partnership
                     between the authority and the bus operator. First Bus Group agreed
                     to provide more low floor bus services, whilst reciprocal
                     improvements were made by Bracknell Forest through the
                     introduction of appropriate kerb heights. The current percentage of
                     improved bus stops in the Borough, which enhance improve
                     accessibility for disabled passengers, stands at approximately 50%,
                     with more improvements planned for next financial year.

                     Political will
                     7.1.19         Quite simply, operators asserted during the
… and political      consultation period, accessibility needs to be prioritised by
enthusiasm           politicians for real progress to be made. For example, sufficient
                     resources must be dedicated to make the highway improvements
                     necessary to accommodate low floor buses. The historical tendency
                     to prioritise car users’ needs first, putting these before public
                     transport requirements was highlighted. It was argued that this may
                     well be due to the fact that car users comprise a substantially larger
                     proportion of the electorate than public transport passengers.

                     Fragmented industry
                     7.1.20           There is a reported lack of effective joint working
                     within the public transport industry as a whole. This fragmentation
A lack of joint
                     results in inconsistent investment and varying accessibility
working limits       standards and facilities. Signage, for example, is incoherent which
progress             can cause difficulties navigating the public transport system,
                     especially for those with visual impairments. It was acknowledged
                     that this issue makes journey planning particularly problematic and
                     limits trust in the network.




                                                                                          62
    8      Challenges, actions and recommendations

    8.1        The challenges ahead


                       8.1.1          It is evident from this research study that improving
                       accessibility is a key government priority and legislative
Good accessibility     requirements have placed a responsibility on transport operators to
for those with a       take action to enhance their service offer. In addition, the study has
disability or          revealed the particular need for the South East to respond to the
reduced mobility       accessibility agenda, to maintain its position of economic
should be a priority
                       productivity, respond to demographic trends, secure a more
in the South East …
                       inclusive transport system and help to attract more visitors to the
                       region.
                       8.1.2         Moreover, bringing access needs increasingly to the
                       fore, not least to ensure the region benefits from the extensive
                       tourism opportunities, are the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic
                       Games. It has been widely acknowledged throughout this project
                       that from 2008, after Beijing, the focus will be entirely on London
                       as training will commence in this country. As this process takes
                       hold the transport system will have to respond. A greater choice of
                       accessible vehicles and services will need to be offered in the South
                       East to respond to the needs of all passengers and capitalise on
                       commercial prospects.
                       8.1.3          Whilst the significance of enhancing accessibility is
                       well recognised, the evidence presented in this report reveals that
… however,             provision remains patchy. This is the case for both rail and bus
considerable           services, which have been the main modes considered in this
progress is            report. More detailed probing into facilities at key transport hubs,
required to meet       shows that most can accommodate disabled and reduced mobility
regional objectives
                       passengers. However, as explained above, rail stations at five hub
                       locations studied still do not have fully accessible platforms and
                       four of these are not in line to receive funding under the Access for
                       All programme.
                       8.1.4          The expectation amongst disabled groups is high.
                       Infrastructure improvements will be important not only to disabled
                       and reduced mobility people but also to tourists and the wider
                       community. This is particularly pertinent in the 2012 context given
It is not clear        the ODA’s vision for limiting private transport access to and from
whether delivery       venues. The Games are seen as a key opportunity by the ODA and
will meet up to
expectations by
                       disability groups for encouraging disabled people to participate in
2012                   sport and the ability to travel, with ease, to events will be key in
                       cultivating this interest.




                                                                                          63
                        8.1.5          It was revealed during the consultations that the
                        ODA has already received pro-active interest from disability
                        groups about the opportunities to increase transport accessibility,
                        tourism possibilities and sporting participation amongst disabled
                        groups; the ODA is keen to sustain this interest. Some anxiety does
                        exist amongst providers, however, about being able to meet
                        expectations. The QDA is actively taking forward this agenda
                        through publication of the accessible transport strategy which will
                        deliver the transport plans aspiration for sustainable access to the
                        Games.

                        8.1.6          Moreover, it is worth noting the Olympic and
                        Paralympic Games will bring with them additional and specific
                        accessibility issues. Text and audio announcements will not be
                        understandable by foreign visitors without a good grasp of English.
                        Some concern was raised at the workshop that the distance from
                        public transport interchanges to actual venues in the Olympic Park
Resources may           may also be prohibitive for those with reduced mobility. Adding to
prove a key barrier     this is the key question of resources. The Transport Plan highlights
in meeting the          the centrality of an accessible network and integration of the
challenges posed by     London transport system with feeder regions, of which the South
2012                    East is a principal player. However, with the primary focus on
                        Greater London, it was evident from discussions in the stakeholder
                        workshop that there are concerns about where regional funding will
                        come from to support these aims. It is doubtful that money will
                        available through the LTP process as it is more than likely to have
                        been committed elsewhere. As such, questions do remain over
                        whether delivery will fulfil aspirations – and that a consistent
                        approach will be taken across the region/country due to the funding
                        implications.

    8.2         Action Plan
                        8.2.1           Whilst the accessibility programme, driven by
                        legislation, slowly continues to introduce advancements, Chapter 7
                        makes clear that a long list of accessibility barriers persist.
                        However, it is also important to note that the removal or
                        minimisation of some of these need not always involve significant
                        capital investment.
Some quick-win          8.2.2           Implementing comprehensive physical access
solutions would         requirements to vehicles and stations for disabled and reduced
make a
considerable
                        mobility passengers will take time, although will happen due to
difference to           Government regulations. In the meantime, however, this study has
disabled people’s       made evident that transport operators could go a long way to
trust in using public   broaden the appeal of their services by addressing some ‘softer’
transport               and more ‘quick win’ issues, which often constitute as much of a
                        barrier as the infrastructure impediments.




                                                                                         64
8.2.3          Based on our detailed research and consultation with
key stakeholders we include a detailed Action Plan, which can act
as a guide to addressing some of the key issues. Crucially each
suggested action is accompanied by an indicative timeframe,
enabling an assessment of the speed with which progress can be
made and possible developments which could be implemented by
2012. Short term is defined as within twelve months; medium term
is understood as action that could be completed by 2012; long term
is used to refer as any actions it will no be possible to implement
by 2012.




                                                                65
 ACTION AREA ONE:                             Improved travel information and marketing


Barrier(s)
• Lack of accurate, consistent and trustworthy public transport information
• Negative perceptions amongst disabled and reduced mobility groups

Objective(s)
Provision of information which is accessible and user-friendly to all passenger groups, which will
improve confidence in and passage on the public transport network.

Proposed actions
• Positive public relations and marketing - identify a regional public transport champion and/or
   positive role model to promote public transport to people with all types of disability and break
   down negative perceptions.
• Include images on relevant brochures, showing the variety of accessible facilities and with reduced
   mobility passengers using these.
• Produce easier to access and read timetables - in large print and straightforward to read with
   guaranteed accessible routes clearly marked on the map110.
• Incentivise use of public transport by those who haven’t used it for a long time through free ‘try
   the train/bus’ experience days and concessionary fares.
• Local station brochures should be provided listing accessible facilities, assistance and accessible
   service destinations. These should also feature information about the surrounding physical
   environment (gradients; bus interchange facilities; accessible tourism venues) for ease of journey
   and trip planning by people with all types of disability. This could perhaps be done through
   Transport Direct, Traveline or NaPTAN111.
• Provision of ‘whole journey’ information, from origin to destination; a local one-stop-shop, able
   to link in with regional information, would be particularly important in terms of destination
   information, which is the principal ‘unknown’ factor. There is the possibility to integrate
   development with Transport Direct, Traveline, NaPTAN or emerging technologies such as GPS.

         Action                      Responsibility                      Timeframe                         Investment
                                                                                                         requirements
•     Positive public             Transport operators,              Development of                    Not substantial – could
      relations                   with co-operation and             material: Short term –            involve re-structuring
•     Use of images               involvement of                    within the next year              of publication and
•     Easier to access            disabled user groups.             (ongoing)                         information budgets.
      and read                    The ODA is working
      timetables                  towards producing                 Changing of
                                  appropriate literature            perceptions: Medium –
                                  for the Games.                    long term

•     Local station               Transport operators in            Medium term (by                   Significant –
      brochures                   partnership with local            2012)                             harmonising and
•     ‘Whole journey’             authorities; with co-                                               centralised information
      information                 operation and                                                       will not be an easy
                                  involvement of                                                      process
                                  disabled user groups
                                  and tourism industry.
                                  Transport Direct,
                                  Traveline and NaPTAN
                                  should also be
                                  approached.


110
    There is often more trust in website interactive information, as it can be instantly accessed and updated more easily to ensure
its reliability.
111
    The National Pubic Transport Access Node – this is database that uniquely identifies all the points of access to public
transport in the UK. It is a core component of the UK national transport information infrastructure.



                                                                                                                                 66
Opportunities for delivery through existing work streams
• Combining work with developments being made on rail station travel plans – as part of the
  Regional Transport Board’s Mobility Management Action Plan.
• Working with the ODA towards quality information for disabled and reduced mobility visitors;
  continue to feed messages through South East Partnership for the 2012 Games.
• Including improved travel information in publications that are already being developed by TSE to
  improve the tourism product for disabled visitors.




                                                                                                67
ACTION AREA TWO:                   Raising awareness through staff training


Barrier(s)
• Lack of awareness and negative attitudes of public transport staff

Objective
Raising accessibility awareness throughout operating companies with customer-facing staff who are
confident, able and willing to provide passenger assistance for all disability groups.

Proposed actions
• Dedicated staff courses – devotion of real time by transport operators to raising accessibility
   awareness to improve behavioural attitudes and physical knowledge
• Add accessibility guidance on all disabilities to staff intranet
• Seek guidance from disabled groups on the type of training that they perceive will be most
   effective in meeting their needs
• Share good practice between operators so that successful approaches can be replicated; the CPT
   could be used to disseminate such information
• Include criteria on improving staff accessibility training as part of Quality Bus Partnership
   agreements/ rail franchises.

       Action               Responsibility              Timeframe                  Investment
                                                                                 requirements
•   Dedicated staff       Transport operators       Short term – within the   Low – could involve
    courses                                         next year (ongoing)       re-structuring of exiting
•   Staff intranet                                                            training budgets.
•   Share good                                                                However, this approach
    practice                                                                  could be more
                                                                              prohibitive for smaller
                                                                              operators
•   Seek guidance         Transport operators in    Short term – within the   Low – although could
    from disabled         partnership with          next year (ongoing)       be time intensive
    groups                disabled user groups.

•   Inclusion of staff    Local authorities (bus)   Development of            Low – this would
    training within       Department for            franchise requirement:    require an amendment
    Quality Bus           Transport (rail)          short term – within the   to policy with limited
    Partnerships / rail                             next year.                resource implications
    franchises                                                                for the local
                                                   Contracting of             authority/DfT.
                                                   appropriate operators:
                                                   Medium term (by
                                                   2012) depending on
                                                   timeframe of the
                                                   incumbent contract
                                                   arrangements.
Opportunities for delivery through existing work streams
• Building on, and learning from, the Welcome to Excellence dedicated customer training courses
  run by TSE and on the training packages that will be developed as part of the Olympic and
  Paralympic strategies.
• Using the resource centre, being developed under the Regional Transport Board’s Mobility
  Management Plan, as a bank for good practice in terms of staff training and awareness raising and
  for the development of Quality Bus Partnerships.
• Working with the ODA to heighten the awareness of all customer facing staff and their ability to
  assist disabled and reduced mobility spectators/visitors.




                                                                                                   68
ACTION AREA THREE:                  Matching infrastructure to services


Barrier(s)
• Lack of accessible bus stops from which to board and alight buses
• Rail and bus service integration at key points (key transport hubs)
• Uneven access from platform to trains

Objective
Assurance of accessible services, to improve confidence amongst disabled and reduced mobility
passengers and encourage their use of the network

Proposed actions
• The formation of Quality Bus Partnerships has been flagged up as a positive way to make
   reciprocal improvements. They involve partnership working between local authorities and
   operators towards joint goals; each partner has different responsibilities in terms of accessibility.
• Lobbying DfT to propose that accessibility and inclusion criteria are included as a scoring element
   when issuing rail franchises, thereby encouraging operators to offer guaranteed assistance to those
   with disabilities and mobility impairments with getting from the platform onto the train.

       Action                Responsibility              Timeframe                   Investment
                                                                                   requirements
•   Establishment of      Train/bus operators in     Formation: short term –    Formation: low
    Quality Bus           partnership with local     within the next year       (although possibly time
    Partnerships –        authorities. Where         (ongoing).                 intensive)
    particularly in hub   appropriate those
    locations             responsible for            Implementing               Implementing
                          operation at key           improvements: medium       improvements:
                          interchanges/hubs will     term (by 2012)             potentially significant
                          need to engage in the                                 for local authorities
                          partnership e.g. BAA,                                 depending on current
                          Network Rail                                          infrastructure
                                                                                conditions (see Action
                                                                                Area 5 below for
                                                                                funding options); low
                                                                                for bus operators as
                                                                                their budgets should
                                                                                already include
                                                                                improvements due to
                                                                                national regulations.
•   Lobbying DfT          Local / regional           Short term – ongoing       Lobbying: low
                          authorities and            until achieved.            (although possibly time
                          disability groups.                                    intensive)

                                                                                Implementation: For
                                                                                DfT as it would require
                                                                                alteration of policy
                                                                                rather than capital
                                                                                investment; for
                                                                                operators, possibly
                                                                                significant if increased
                                                                                staff resources need to
                                                                                employed or stations
                                                                                improvements are
                                                                                required




                                                                                                     69
Opportunities for delivery through existing work streams
• Combining work with developments being made on rail station travel plans – as part of the
  Regional Transport Board’s Mobility Management Action Plan.
• Use the resource centre, being developed under the Regional Transport Board’s Mobility
  Management Plan, as a bank for good practice in terms of the development of Quality Bus
  Partnerships.




                                                                                              70
ACTION AREA FOUR:                  Partnership working


Barrier(s)
• Lack of joint working due to the fragmented nature of the public transport industry
• Disability groups negative perceptions of public transport
• Accessibility being a low priority on the local policy agenda

Objective
Assurance of accessible bus services, to improve confidence of disabled and reduced mobility
passengers and encouraging greater use of the network

Proposed actions
• Partnership working through a regional forum for sharing good practice, raising awareness,
   making service improvements and finding ways in which to meet legislative requirements. Council
   Members should be included, where possible, to increase their awareness and add political weight.
• Local partnership working with disabled and reduced mobility user-groups – many of which
   have expressed keenness to work with operators to advance the access credentials across the public
   transport system in the South East. This will help to dispel some public transport mythologies.

       Action               Responsibility              Timeframe                 Investment
                                                                                requirements
•   Regional forum       The Assembly taking       Formation: short term –   Low (although time
                         the lead – to involve     within the next year      intensive)
                         operators; local          (ongoing).
                         authorities; disabled
                         user groups; and the      Implementing
                         tourism industry.         improvements: medium
                                                   term (by 2012)

•   Local partnership    Transport operators in    Short term – within the   Low (although possibly
    working              partnership with          next year (ongoing)       time intensive)
                         disabled user groups.
Opportunities for delivery through existing work streams
• Develop ideas for a way forward on the regional forum through discussions at the Regional
  Transport Board and in the Transport and Infrastructure sub-group of the South East Partnership
  for the 2012 Games. Engage particularly over trying to ensure improved access facilities in Slough
  and Maidenhead and Windsor to accommodate all visitors wishing to attend Eton Dorney events.
• Use the Regional Transport Board, and the resource centre when developed, to encourage and
  provide advice on local partnership working between operators and disabled groups.




                                                                                                  71
ACTION AREA FIVE:                          Funding


Barrier(s)
• Lack of funding to make the improvements necessary to meet the needs of disabled and reduced
   mobility customers and the challenges of 2012.

Objective
Adequate resources to make the required accessibility improvements and ensure the region offers
exemplary public transport services to all users – by 2012 and beyond.

Proposed actions
• A Bus Challenge Fund - specifically earmarked to tackle the barriers faced by those with
   mobility, sensory and learning disabilities.
• Prioritising accessibility projects within LTPs and for Regional Funding Allocation (RFA) –
   generating political will to take action.
• Using development money – making sure accessibility is high up the agenda when priorities for
   developer contributions are being planned. Generating political will to take action.

         Action                    Responsibility                     Timeframe                       Investment
                                                                                                    requirements
•    Bus Challenge              Lobbying the DfT:               Lobbying: short term –           Lobbying: Low
     Fund                       Train/bus operators;            within the next year             (although possibly time
                                local and regional              (ongoing).                       intensive)
                                authorities; disabled
                                user groups; tourism
                                industry.

                                Implementation: DfT             Implementation:                  Implementation:
                                                                medium term (by 2012)            Significant

• Prioritising            Local authorities and    Short term – changes         Low – as it involves a
  accessibility           the Regional Transport could theoretically be         reallocation of funding
  project within          Board.                   introduced during the        or attaching
  LTPs / RFA                                       annual LTP review            requirements to
• Securing funds                                   process                      funding streams rather
  through developer                                                             than fresh resources
  contributions (s.
  106 money)
Opportunities for delivery through existing work streams
• It may be possible to incorporate within the guidance112 for local authorities (which is being
  developed as a work package under the Mobility Management Action Plan) the need to prioritise
  accessibility and its importance to the Regional Transport Strategy set out in the South East Plan.
• Ensure discussions on funding accessibility improvements, especially those around key regional
  and Olympic transport hubs, are included in the Transport and Infrastructure sub-group of the
  South East Partnership for the 2012 Games. Particular attention to be placed on securing public
  transport access improvements in and around Eton Dorney.




112
    Under the Assembly’s Mobility Management Action Plan guidance is being developed for local authorities to assist them with
developing Local Development Frameworks that are consistent with the Regional Transport Strategy.



                                                                                                                          72
        8.3             The way forward
                                     8.3.1        The Action Plan above specifies numerous actions
                                     which could lead to a more accessible public transport system,
                                     which is more user-friendly for those with disabilities or reduced
                                     mobility. Reassuringly many of these solutions could well be
                                     enacted relatively swiftly, without the need for substantial
                                     investment by operators or public authorities.
                                     8.3.2          Responsibility for taking forward these various
                                     solutions is mixed. However, one clear and consistent message
Joint working will                   permeates the Action Plan – which is the need to work in
be critical if                       partnership. There has been a consensus amongst the literature and
progress is to be                    project participants that progress will only be realised through
realised                             working in a joined-up way. A constructive dialogue must govern
                                     the way forward – neither ‘side’ is going to be able to solve the
                                     accessibility on their own.

                                     8.3.3         Initiating the actions above, therefore, might best be
                                     achieved through first achieving Action Area Four. A regional
A regional forum                     forum, convening operators, local authorities and disability groups
would serve
multiple purposes
                                     would not only fulfil the function of sharing good practice but it
…                                    would also provide a platform for joint-working to develop ‘whole
                                     journey’ information, encourage the development of Quality Bus
                                     Partnerships and combine efforts to lobby for either national or
                                     local funds.

                                     8.3.4          Similarly the formation of local partnerships, where
                                     operators consult directly and routinely with disabled and reduced
… and, where                         mobility user groups between operators, will help not only to tailor
possible, should be                  infrastructure improvements, but they will assist with the eroding
complemented by
                                     negative perceptions of the public transport industry and enable
local co-operation
                                     advice on the suitability of information and staff training. This
                                     locally based co-operation will need to be encouraged through the
                                     regional forum.

                                     8.3.5        There is a role for the Assembly and the Regional
                                     Transport Board to take the lead in establishing a regional forum to
                                     debate and further accessibility improvements. Much of this work
                                     would fit neatly with, and could indeed complement, the
                                     Assembly’s Mobility Management Action Plan113 in which the
                                     need for and effectiveness of collective action has already been
                                     emphasised.

                                     8.3.6         Other synergies exist with regard to the gathering
Synergies exist with                 and sharing of good practice. The Regional Transport Board has
the Regional                         already embraced this concept within its Mobility Management
Transport Board’s                    Action Plan; one of the work packages within this is the
wider Mobility                       development of a resource centre to assist professionals across the
Management Action
Plan
                                     region. There is scope, therefore for the proposed regional forum to
                                     draw from and also contribute to this central bank of transport and
                                     mobility planning information.



113
      South East England Regional Assembly (2007a): Op. cit.



                                                                                                      73
    8.4        Concluding observations and further research

                       8.4.1          The accessibility of the public transport system in the
                       South East has a considerable way to go before it receives
                       confident endorsement from those with reduced mobility or a
                       disability; more needs to be done to encourage a switch from
                       private modes of transport. This has implications for the objectives
                       of the Assembly, whilst TSE will also recognise the need for
                       improvements to help with attainment of their visitor and revenue
                       targets and to ensure that the opportunities afforded by the Olympic
                       and Paralympic Games are realised.

                       8.4.2          Yet, as this study has identified various ‘quick win’
                       solutions exist which could, if implemented, make a considerable
Behavioural change     difference to the experience of public transport for users requiring
will take time to      extra assistance. The study does accept, however, that whilst some
realise                actions can be taken quickly, altering of changing of perceptions
                       may lag behind in terms of timescale. A sustained effort will be
                       required to encourage use of public transport, as behavioural
                       change ‘will not happen overnight.’

                       8.4.3          Throughout the research, the point has been made
                       that writing a short term financial business case for accessibility
                       investment is not particularly easy. However, there was a general
Short term             consensus that short term investment of time and resources, would
investment is likely
to lead to long term
                       pay medium-long term dividends through increased patronage, not
financial gains        simply from disabled and reduced mobility customers but also from
                       the general public who would also reap benefits from the service
                       improvements. As already stressed in this report, improving access
                       across the public transport network will not only benefit disabled
                       people; a wide range of people will benefit from enhancements, not
                       least those with young children and baggage.

                       8.4.4         To secure buy-in from transport operators, it will be
                       essential that they are fully briefed on this the bigger picture.
                       Instilling confidence in making access improvements by
                       highlighting that they will ‘hit them positively in the pocket’ will
                       be key message requiring emphasis during any partnership
                       working.

                       8.4.5          Finally, the research has pointed continuously to the
                       need for considerably improved access facilities to serve the influx
Efforts to improve
accessibility need     of visitors expected from the hosting of the Olympic and
to be sustained        Paralympic Games. It is imperative, however, that this is viewed as
beyond 2012            a catalyst for action rather than an end-point. Real advances will
                       require focused long-term efforts, extending far beyond 2012.

                       Further research
                       8.4.6         This research project has been a discrete, short-term
                       study illuminating the region’s accessibility credentials and
                       recommending some strategic actions which could be taken. At the
                       same time has, however, exposed several areas in which further
                       research would be useful to reinforce understanding of accessibility
                       within the South East.



                                                                                          74
                      8.4.7          For example, the absence of bus data in some
                      authorities prevented a fully comprehensive analysis of provision.
                      In addition, the analysis of bus accessibility involved consultation
                      only with the principal operators and did not take into account
                      rural/urban areas of public DRT. A focused study, drilling down
                      into local bus networks and other such services, may help to
                      uncover increased information. It would also permit clear mapping
                      of accessible routes which, particularly in hub locations, could be
                      useful.

Further research
                      8.4.8          From the perspective of TSE it may be of value to
would be beneficial   further understand exactly which of the key venues and attractions
to gain a fully       in the South East can be easily accessed via public transport. A
comprehensive         more in-depth study of this nature may highlight possible areas of
understanding of      concern and also locations, which could be actively marketed as
accessibility
requirements in the
                      easy to reach by train or bus.
South East
                      8.4.9          Finally, whilst this research has undertaken a cursory
                      examination of the regional transport hubs and interchanges there is
                      considerable room to strengthen this to properly explore the ease of
                      transit through and around locations which are deemed highly
                      significant for the region’s economic prosperity and an inclusive
                      tourism industry. Consultation with local user groups, plus site
                      visits would be just two ways of enhancing our understanding of
                      accessibility at these key transport hub locations.




                                                                                        75
        Appendix A
Workshop attendees and consultees




                                    76
Organisations that attended the workshop event


  •   Association of Train Operating Companies
  •   Brighton and Hove City Council
  •   British Airports Authority
  •   Buckinghamshire County Council
  •   Confederation of Passenger Transport
  •   Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee
  •   East Sussex County Council
  •   First Great Western
  •   Kent County Council
  •   National Express
  •   Network Rail
  •   Olympic Delivery Authority
  •   Reading Borough Council
  •   SCOPE
  •   South East England Regional Assembly
  •   Stagecoach
  •   Tourism for All
  •   Tourism South East
  •   Visit Britain


Organisations that participated in consultations
  •   Association of Train Operating Companies
  •   Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee
  •   Olympic Delivery Authority
  •   Tourism for All
  •   White Lodge Centre




                                                      77
          Appendix B
Accessible transport services by local
         transport authority




                                         78
Bracknell Forest

Regional hubs                        None
Fully accessible rail stations       0 (0%)
Partially accessible rail stations   4
Inaccessible rail stations           0
Fully accessible buses               100% of fleet will be low floor; 60% fully
                                     accessible (from May 2008)
Fully accessible bus services        Unknown




                                                                            79
Brighton and Hove

Regional hubs                        Brighton
Fully accessible rail stations       2 (25%)
Partially accessible rail stations   4
Inaccessible rail stations           2
Fully accessible buses               195
Fully accessible bus services        24




                                                80
Buckinghamshire

Regional hubs                        High Wycombe
                                     Aylesbury
Fully accessible rail stations       2 (10%)
Partially accessible rail stations   11
Inaccessible rail stations           8
Fully accessible buses               64 (65 from April 2008)
Fully accessible bus services        37




                                                               81
East Sussex

Regional hubs                        Hastings
                                     Newhaven
Fully accessible rail stations       2 (5%)
Partially accessible rail stations   25
Inaccessible rail stations           11
Fully accessible buses               21
Fully accessible bus services        Unknown




                                                82
Hampshire

Regional hubs                        Basingstoke
Fully accessible rail stations       4 (8%)
Partially accessible rail stations   25
Inaccessible rail stations           19
Fully accessible buses               170
Fully accessible bus services        23




                                                   83
Isle of Wight

Regional hubs                        None
Fully accessible rail stations       1 (13%)
Partially accessible rail stations   4
Inaccessible rail stations           3
Fully accessible buses               31
Fully accessible bus services        3




                                               84
Kent

Regional hubs                        Ashford
                                     Canterbury
                                     Dover
                                     Ebbsfleet
                                     Maidstone
                                     Tonbridge / Tunbridge Wells
Fully accessible rail stations       8 (8%)
Partially accessible rail stations   32
Inaccessible rail stations           57
Fully accessible buses               657 (Arriva services only)
Fully accessible bus services        258 (Arriva and Stagecoach East Kent services only)




                                                                                           85
Medway

Regional hubs                        Chatham
Fully accessible rail stations       2 (29%)
Partially accessible rail stations   2
Inaccessible rail stations           3
Fully accessible buses               Over 100
Fully accessible bus services        Unknown




                                                86
Milton Keynes

Regional hubs                        Milton Keynes
Fully accessible rail stations       1 (17%)
Partially accessible rail stations   0
Inaccessible rail stations           5
Fully accessible buses               51
Fully accessible bus services        13




                                                     87
Oxfordshire

Regional hubs                        Oxford
Fully accessible rail stations       2 (9%)
Partially accessible rail stations   12
Inaccessible rail stations           8
Fully accessible buses               144
Fully accessible bus services        11




                                              88
Portsmouth

Regional hubs                        Portsmouth
Fully accessible rail stations       2 (40%)
Partially accessible rail stations   1
Inaccessible rail stations           2
Fully accessible buses               Unknown
Fully accessible bus services        3




                                                  89
Reading

Regional hubs                        Reading
Fully accessible rail stations       1 (33%)
Partially accessible rail stations   0
Inaccessible rail stations           2
Fully accessible buses               Total Reading Buses fleet
Fully accessible bus services        All Reading Buses services - 46




                                                                       90
Slough

Regional hubs                        Slough
Fully accessible rail stations       0 (0%)
Partially accessible rail stations   0
Inaccessible rail stations           3
Fully accessible buses               100% of fleet (from May 2008)
Fully accessible bus services        16 from May 2008




                                                                     91
Southampton

Regional hubs                        Southampton
Fully accessible rail stations       2 (22%)
Partially accessible rail stations   0
Inaccessible rail stations           7
Fully accessible buses               Minerva (Uni-link) 100%; First 50%; Solent
                                     Blue Line 50% (97)
Fully accessible bus services        7 (4 Uni-link services; 3 Solent Blue Line) First
                                     - unknown




                                                                                   92
Surrey

Regional hubs                        Guildford
                                     Reigate / Redhill
                                     Woking
Fully accessible rail stations       5 (6%)
Partially accessible rail stations   34
Inaccessible rail stations           44
Fully accessible buses               325
Fully accessible bus services        111




                                                         93
West Berkshire

Regional hubs                        None
Fully accessible rail stations       0 (0%)
Partially accessible rail stations   5
Inaccessible rail stations           5
Fully accessible buses               25
Fully accessible bus services        Unknown




                                               94
West Sussex

Regional hubs                        Gatwick
Fully accessible rail stations       6 (16%)
Partially accessible rail stations   22
Inaccessible rail stations           10
Fully accessible buses               19 (Arriva); 71 (Stagecoach)
Fully accessible bus services        Arriva – all from May 2008; Stagecoach –
                                     9; B&H Buses - 5




                                                                          95
Windsor and Maidenhead

Regional hubs                        Maidenhead
                                     Windsor
Fully accessible rail stations       3 (30%)
Partially accessible rail stations   5
Inaccessible rail stations           2
Fully accessible buses               Courtney Coaches 8; First Group 100%
                                     from May 2008
Fully accessible bus services        Courtney Coaches 4; First 9 % from May
                                     2008




                                                                        96
Wokingham

Regional hubs                        None
Fully accessible rail stations       0 (0%)
Partially accessible rail stations   3
Inaccessible rail stations           3
Fully accessible buses               100% of the First fleet will be low floor and 60%
                                     will be fully accessible from May 2008
Fully accessible bus services        Unknown




                                                                                   97
         Appendix C
Accessibility at the South East’s key
           transport hubs




                                        98
Brighton and Hove

                                        Brighton

                    Rail Station                                   Airport
          Brighton has fully accessible
          platforms - the entire station is           • Disabled parking bays
          step-free, with ramp access to              • Accessible toilets
          board/alight trains.                        • Information in large print and
                   Other facilities                     assistance staff to read to
                                                        customers
          • Hearing loop
          • Accessible announcements
          • Accessible departure boards
          • Accessible ticket machines
          • Wheelchair-wide public doors
          • Accessible public telephones
          • Accessible taxis
          • Accessible toilets
          • Impaired mobility set-down /
            pick-up points
          • 27 disabled parking spaces
          • Wheelchairs available
          • Interchange with taxis




                                             Buses
          Principal Operator(s): Brighton and Hove
          Number of accessible services in town/city: 24
          Number of accessible services from/to train station: 5
          Number of accessible services from/to airport: 1




                                                                                         99
Buckinghamshire

                                   High Wycombe


                                         Rail Station
                               High Wycombe has fully
                               accessible platform, the entire
                               station is step-free, with ramp
                               access to board/alight trains.
                                        Other facilities
                               • Customer help points
                               • Hearing loop
                               • Accessible announcements
                               • Accessible departure boards
                               • Accessible ticket machines
                               • Accessible booking office
                               • Accessible taxis
                               • Impaired mobility set-down /
                                 pick-up points
                               • 2 disabled parking spaces
                               • Wheelchairs available
                               • Interchange with taxis and bus




                                              Buses
         Principal Operator(s): Arriva; Carousel
         Number of accessible services in town/city: 37
         Number of accessible services from/to train station: 4
         Note: The nearest bus stop to the train is approximately 75 metres away.




                                                                                    100
     East Sussex

                                                            Hastings

                                                            Rail Station
                                                  Hastings has partially accessible
                                                  platforms and the entire station is
                                                  step-free, with ramp access to
                                                  board/alight trains.
                                                            Other facilities
                                                  •   Accessible announcements
                                                  •   Accessible departure boards
                                                  •   Accessible ticket machines
                                                  •   Accessible taxis
                                                  •   Accessible toilets
                                                  •   Wheelchair-wide public doors
                                                  •   Impaired mobility set-down /
                                                      pick-up points
                                                  •   1 disabled parking space
                                                  •   Wheelchairs available
                                                  •   Tactile platform edges
                                                  •   Interchange with bus services
                                                      and taxis




                                                               Buses
                            Principal Operator(s): Stagecoach
                            Number of accessible services in town/city: 4
                            Number of accessible services from/to train station: 4




                                                          Newhaven


 Newhaven Harbour Rail                            Newhaven Town Rail                                Port
             Station                                        Station                      Newhaven Port offers flat access
Newhaven Harbour has partially                 Newhaven Town has partially               ramps and assistance with
accessible platforms and the                   accessible platforms and the              boarding.
entire station is step-free.                   entire station is step-free, with
                                               ramp access to board/alight trains.                    Other facilities
         Other facilities
                                                          Other facilities               • Accessible toilets
• Tactile platform edges on                                                              • Information available in large
  Platform 1                                   • Accessible announcements                  print, audio tape or other
                                               • Accessible departure boards               formats on request
                                               • Accessible taxis




                                                         Buses
Principal Operator(s): Brighton and Hove
Number of accessible services in town/city: 3
Number of accessible services from/to Newhaven town train station: 3
Number of accessible services from/to port: 0
Note: To the operator’s knowledge there aren’t any services which connect the station with the port




                                                                                                                         101
Hampshire

                                         Basingstoke

                                            Rail Station
                                  Basingstoke has fully accessible
                                  platforms and the entire station is
                                  step-free, with ramp access to
                                  board/alight trains.
                                            Other facilities
                                  •   Customer help points
                                  •   Hearing loop
                                  •   Accessible announcements
                                  •   Accessible departure boards
                                  •   Accessible ticket machines
                                  •   Accessible taxis
                                  •   Accessible toilets
                                  •   4 disabled parking spaces
                                  •   Wheelchairs available
                                  •   Interchange with taxis




                                                Buses
            Principal Operator(s): Stagecoach
            Number of accessible services in town/city: 5
            Number of accessible services from/to train station: 5




                                                                        102
Kent

                                Ashford International

                                        Rail Station
                               Ashford International has fully
                               accessible platforms and the
                               entire station is step-free, with
                               ramp access to board/alight trains.
                                         Other facilities
                               •   Accessible announcements
                               •   Accessible departure boards
                               •   Accessible ticket machines
                               •   Accessible taxis
                               •   Accessible toilets
                               •   Wheelchair-wide public doors
                               •   Impaired mobility set-
                                   down/pick-up points
                               •   19 disabled parking spaces
                               •   Wheelchairs available
                               •   Tactile platform edges
                               •   Interchange with taxis and bus
                                   services




                                           Buses
       Principal Operator(s): Stagecoach
       Number of accessible services in town/city: 2
       Number of accessible services from/to train station: 2




                                                                     103
                                 Canterbury


    Canterbury East Rail                         Canterbury West Rail
             Station                                      Station
Canterbury East has fully                     Canterbury West has inaccessible
accessible platforms with ramp                platforms with ramp access to
access to board/alight trains. Parts          board/alight trains.
of the station are step-free.
                                                        Other facilities
         Other facilities
                                              • Accessible announcements
• Hearing loop                                • Accessible departure boards
• Accessible announcements                    • Accessible ticket machines
• Accessible departure boards                 • Accessible booking office
• Accessible ticket machines                  • Accessible taxis
• Accessible taxis                            • Impaired mobility set-
• Wheelchair-wide public doors                  down/pick-up points
• Impaired mobility set-                      • 3 disabled parking spaces
  down/pick-up points                         • Wheelchairs available
• 4 disabled parking spaces                   • Interchange with taxis and bus
• Wheelchairs available                         services
• Tactile platform edges




                                      Buses
Principal Operator(s): Stagecoach
Number of accessible services in town/city: 9
Number of accessible services from/to train stations: 0
Note: Although no accessible bus services run directly from either station, 2
services run via Pin Hill), very close to Canterbury East) and 1 route stops at
St. Dunstan’s (5 minutes walk from Canterbury West).




                                                                                  104
                               Dover Priory


            Rail Station                                       Port
  Dover Priory has fully accessible             Dover Port      offers       step-free
  platforms and the entire station is           embarkation      and         terminal
  step-free, with ramp access to                buildings.
  board/alight trains.
                                                          Other facilities
            Other facilities
                                                • Disabled parking bays
  •   Hearing loop                              • Hearing loop
  •   Accessible announcements                  • Accessible toilets
  •   Accessible departure boards               • Wheelchairs available
  •   Accessible ticket machines                • Courtesy bus between terminal
  •   Accessible booking office                   and ships
  •   Accessible taxis                          • Deaf awareness trained staff
  •   Wheelchair-wide public doors              • Trained escort service for
  •   Impaired mobility set-                      passengers with special needs.
      down/pick-up points
  •   2 disabled parking spaces
  •   Wheelchairs available
  •   Tactile platform edges
  •   Interchange with taxis and bus
      services




                                       Buses
  Principal Operator(s): Stagecoach
  Number of accessible services in town/city: 7
  Number of accessible services from/to train station: 1 (see below)
  Number of accessible services from/to port: 1 – P & O ferries operate a
  shuttle service between the port and the railway station. The circuit route is
  served by one bus, calling at the port and the station every 20 minutes.




                      Ebbsfleet International


                                Rail Station
                       There was no information
                       available on the station website
                       on accessibility.




                                   Buses
Principal Operator(s): Fastrack (Arriva)
Number of accessible services from/to train station: 1




                                                                                         105
                                                     Maidstone


 Maidstone Barracks Rail                      Maidstone East Rail                    Maidstone West Rail
            Station                                    Station                                 Station
Maidstone        Barracks has             Maidstone East has partially           Maidstone West has inaccessible
inaccessible platforms.                   accessible platforms with ramp         platforms with ramp access to
                                          access to board/alight trains. Parts   board/alight trains. Parts of the
         Other facilities                 of the station are step-free.          station are step-free.
• Accessible departure boards                       Other facilities                       Other facilities
• Tactile platform edges
                                          •   Accessible announcements           •   Accessible announcements
                                          •   Accessible departure boards        •   Accessible departure boards
                                          •   Accessible ticket machines         •   Accessible ticket machines
                                          •   6 disabled parking spaces          •   Impaired mobility set-
                                          •   Wheelchairs available                  down/pick-up points
                                          •   Tactile platform edges             •   2 disabled parking spaces
                                          •   Interchange with taxis             •   Wheelchairs available
                                                                                 •   Tactile platform edges
                                                                                 •   Interchange with taxis




                                                      Buses
Principal Operator(s): Stagecoach
Number of accessible services in town/city: 3
Number of accessible services from/to Maidenhead train station: 3




                                                                                                              106
Milton Keynes

                              Milton Keynes Central

                                         Rail Station
                                Milton Keynes Central has fully
                                accessible platforms and the
                                entire station is step-free, with
                                ramp access to board/alight trains.
                                         Other facilities
                                • Customer help points
                                • Hearing loop
                                • Accessible announcements
                                • Accessible departure boards
                                • Accessible ticket machines
                                • Accessible taxis
                                • Accessible public telephones
                                • Accessible toilets
                                • Wheelchair-wide public doors
                                • Impaired mobility set-
                                  down/pick-up points
                                • 17 disabled parking spaces
                                • Wheelchairs available
                                • Interchange with taxis, bus
                                  services and an airport




                                             Buses
          Principal Operator(s): MK Metro
          Number of accessible services in the town/city: 13
          Number of accessible services from/to train station: 11




                                                                      107
Oxfordshire

                                         Oxford

                                         Rail Station
                               Oxford has fully accessible
                               platforms and the entire station is
                               step-free, with ramp access to
                               board/alight trains.
                                        Other facilities
                               • Customer help points
                               • Hearing loop
                               • Accessible announcements
                               • Accessible departure boards
                               • Accessible ticket machines
                               • Accessible taxis
                               • Accessible toilets
                               • Impaired mobility set-
                                 down/pick-up points
                               • 8 disabled parking spaces
                               • Wheelchairs available
                               • Interchange with taxis and bus
                                 services




                                             Buses
          Principal Operator(s): Oxford Bus Company; Stagecoach
          Number of accessible services in town/city: 144
          Number of accessible services from/to train station: 11




                                                                     108
       Portsmouth

                                                       Portsmouth


Portsmouth Harbour Rail                             Portsmouth and                                       Port
             Station                            Southsea Rail Station                     Portsmouth Port offers automatic
Portsmouth Harbour has fully                 Portsmouth and Southsea has                  doors in the terminal building and
accessible platforms and the                 fully accessible platforms and the           kerbs with drop down ramps.
entire station is step-free.                 entire station is step-free, with
                                             ramp access to board/alight trains.                    Other facilities
          Other facilities
                                                       Other facilities                   •   Accessible toilets
•   Hearing loop                                                                          •   Short term disabled parking
•   Accessible announcements                 •   Customer help points                     •   Accessible public telephone
•   Accessible departure boards              •   Hearing loop                             •   Minibus to transfer disabled
•   Interchange with taxis and a             •   Accessible announcements                     passenger to the ship.
    port                                     •   Accessible departure boards
                                             •   Accessible toilets
                                             •   Wheelchair-wide public doors
                                             •   2 disabled parking spaces
                                             •   Wheelchairs available
                                             •   Interchange with taxis




                                                          Buses
Principal Operator(s): Stagecoach
Number of accessible services in town/city: 3
Number of accessible services from/to Portsmouth and Southsea train station: 2
Number of accessible services from/to Portsmouth Harbour train station / port interchange: 2
Note: accessible routes 21 and 700 connect the port and the train station; route 700 also links with Brighton (Shoreham)
airport




                                                                                                                       109
Reading

                                          Reading

              Reading Rail Station                        Reading West Rail
          Reading has fully accessible                          Station
          platforms and the entire station is        Reading West has inaccessible
          step-free, with ramp access to             platforms and partial step-free
          board/alight trains.                       coverage to ticket office and
                                                     Reading platform via a ramp.
                   Other facilities
                                                               Other facilities
          • Hearing loop
          • Accessible announcements                 •   Customer help points
          • Accessible departure boards              •   Accessible announcements
          • Accessible ticket machines               •   Accessible departure boards
          • Accessible booking office                •   Accessible taxis
          • Accessible taxis
          • Accessible toilets
          • Public telephones
          • Wheelchair-wide public doors
          • Impaired mobility set-
            down/pick-up points
          • 28 disabled parking spaces
          • Wheelchairs available
          • Interchange with taxis, bus
            services and an airport.




                                             Buses
          Principal Operator(s): Reading Buses; First
          Number of accessible services in city/town: All Reading Bus services - 46
          Number of accessible services from/to train station: 36 Reading Bus services;
          1 First Bus service




                                                                                          110
Slough

                                         Slough

                                        Rail Station
                               Slough has inaccessible platforms
                               and partial step-free coverage.
                               There is ramp access to
                               board/alight trains.
                                        Other facilities
                               • Customer help points
                               • Hearing loop
                               • Accessible announcements
                               • Accessible departure boards
                               • Accessible taxis
                               • Accessible toilets
                               • Impaired mobility set-
                                 down/pick-up points
                               • 9 disabled parking spaces
                               • Wheelchairs available
                               • Interchange with taxis




                                            Buses
         Principal Operator(s): First
         Number of accessible services in the town/city: 16 (100% of First services
         from May 2008)
         Number of accessible services from/to train station: 4




                                                                                      111
                             Southampton

  Southampton Central                          Southampton Airport
         Rail Station                          Parkway Rail Station
Southampton Central has fully               Southampton Airport Parkway
accessible platforms and the                has fully accessible platforms and
entire station is step-free, with           the entire station is step-free, with
ramp access to board/alight trains.         ramp access to board/alight trains.
          Other facilities                            Other facilities
•   Customer help points                    •   Customer help points
•   Hearing loop                            •   Accessible announcements
•   Accessible announcements                •   Accessible departure boards
•   Accessible departure boards             •   Accessible ticket machines
•   Accessible taxis                        •   Accessible booking office
•   Accessible toilets                      •   Accessible taxis
•   Wheelchair-wide public doors            •   Accessible public telephones
•   3 disabled parking spaces               •   Accessible toilets
•   Interchange with taxis and a            •   Wheelchair-wide public doors
    port                                    •   9 disabled parking spaces
                                            •   Wheelchairs available
                                            •   Tactile platform edges
                                            •   Interchange with taxis and an
                                                airport




               Port                                   Airport
There was no information                    Southampton Airport offers
available on the port website
                                                      Other facilities
regarding.
                                            • Wheelchairs available
                                            • Disabled lift
                                            • Disabled toilets
                                            • Reserved seating for disabled
                                              people throughout the airport
                                            • Hearing loop
                                            • Disabled parking




                                   Buses
Principal Operator(s): First; Minerva (Uni-link); Solent Blue Line
Number of accessible services in town/city: 4
Number of accessible services from/to train station: 1
Number of accessible services from/to port: 2
Number of accessible services from/to airport: 1
Note: The Uni-link U1 service connects runs between the airport, station and
port every 20 minutes. The U6 service runs only from/to the port, travelling
to/from the hospital.




                                                                                    112
Surrey

                                         Guildford

                                          Rail Station
                                Guildford has fully accessible
                                platforms and the entire station is
                                step-free, with ramp access to
                                board/alight trains.
                                          Other facilities
                                •   Customer help points
                                •   Hearing loop
                                •   Accessible announcements
                                •   Accessible departure boards
                                •   Accessible ticket machines
                                •   Accessible taxis
                                •   Public telephones
                                •   Accessible toilets
                                •   Wheelchair-wide public doors
                                •   4 disabled parking spaces
                                •   Wheelchairs available
                                •   Tactile platform edges
                                •   Interchange with taxis




                                              Buses
         Principal Operator(s): Arriva; Countryliner; Metrobus
         Number of accessible services in the town/city: 27
         Number of accessible services from/to train station: 5
         Note: A fully accessible shuttle bus runs from the train station to the city every
         30 minutes.




                                                                                              113
West Sussex

                                     Gatwick Airport


                  Rail Station                                 Airport
        Gatwick Airport has fully                  Gatwick Airport offers ramps,
        accessible platforms with ramp             wider access pathways and
        access to board/alight trains. Parts       reserved seating for disabled
        of the station are step-free.              people in check-in areas.
        Other facilities                                    Other facilities
        • Hearing loop                             • Accessible toilets
        • Accessible announcements                 • Accessible telephones
        • Accessible departure boards              • Hearing loop
        • Accessible ticket machines
        • Accessible booking office
        • Accessible taxis
        • Accessible toilets
        • Wheelchair-wide public doors
        • Impaired mobility set-
          down/pick-up points
        • 50 disabled parking spaces
        • Wheelchairs available
        • Interchange with bus services
          and an airport




                                            Buses
        Principal Operator(s): Metrobus; Fastway
        Number of accessible services from/to train station: 3
        Note: These are the main bus routes operating to and from Gatwick – they do
        not account for coach services. Two of the accessible services above are
        Fastway services; the other is provided by Metrobus




                                                                                      114
Windsor and Maidenhead

                                       Maidenhead

                                           Rail Station
                                 Maidenhead has fully accessible
                                 platforms - the entire station is
                                 step-free, with ramp access to
                                 board/alight trains.
                                          Other facilities
                                 • Hearing loop
                                 • Accessible announcements
                                 • Accessible departure boards
                                 • Wheelchair-wide public doors
                                 • Accessible taxis
                                 • Accessible toilets
                                 • Impaired mobility set-down /
                                   pick-up points
                                 • 3 disabled parking spaces
                                 • Interchange with taxis




                                                Buses
          Principal Operator(s): First; Courtney Coaches
          Number of accessible services in the town/city: 100% of First services from
          May 2008 (approximately three routes); 4 Courtney Coaches services
          Number of accessible services from/to train station: 1 Courtney Coach
          service. No First services run directly from the rail station. The nearest
          stopping point is Frascati Way, which is approximately a five minute walk
          away.




                                         Windsor


                Windsor and Eton                             Windsor and Eton
               Central rail station                       Riverside rail station
          Windsor and Eton Central has                 Windsor and Eton Riverside has
          fully accessible platforms - the             partially accessible platforms –
          entire station is step-free, with            and the entire station is step-free.
          ramp access to board/alight trains.
                                                                   Other facilities
                    Other facilities
                                                       •     Customer help point
          •   Hearing loop                             •     Hearing loop
          •   Accessible announcements                 •     Accessible announcements
          •   Accessible departure boards              •     Accessible departure boards
          •   Wheelchair-wide public doors
          •   Accessible taxis
          •   Accessible toilets




                                             Buses
          Principal Operator(s): First
          Number of accessible services in the town/city: 100% of First services from
          May 2008 (approximately seven routes)
          Number of accessible services from/to train station: No services run directly
          from the train station.

                                                                                              115

								
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