Accessibility of Coaches and Long Distance Buses for People with Reduced Mobility - COST 349
D Macdonald, Department for Transport, UK
The acronym COST stands for COoperation in the field of Science and Technical research and is the oldest and widest European intergovernmental network for cooperation in research. COST 349 was a four year study to examine ways of improving access to coaches and long distance buses. The findings are being used to inform the policy debate on how to improve access to public transport.
The project included representatives from coach manufacturers, operators, equipment suppliers, groups representing disabled passengers and legislators. Working groups examined vehicle construction issues, the design of infrastructure, provision of information, staff training and economic factors.
The paper will consider the demographic issues driving the policy, economic factors, vehicle design, staff training and changes to infrastructure. Some improvements can be made quickly and at relatively low cost for example when routine maintenance of infrastructure is taking place. Significant changes to vehicle fleets and the infrastructure of stops and coach stations are of necessity longer term goals, and incur significant capital costs. The paper will also cover the provision of information to passengers in accessible formats.
Association for European Transport