REDUCING SOCIAL EXCLUSION FOR PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY – A DETAILED ASSESSMENT OF BARRIERS TO TRANSPORT ACCESSIBILITY IDENTIFIED FROM THE IRISH NATIONAL DISABILITY SURVEY



REDUCING SOCIAL EXCLUSION FOR PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY – A DETAILED ASSESSMENT OF BARRIERS TO TRANSPORT ACCESSIBILITY IDENTIFIED FROM THE IRISH NATIONAL DISABILITY SURVEY

Authors

Conall MacAongusa, Transport And Innovation, David Moore, Spatial Planning Solutions Ltd

Description

To assess barriers to transport accessibility for the disabled is to a considerable extent to assess the degree to which disabled persons encounter barriers to contributing to and participating in society.

Abstract

Because transport and the act of moving people (or people moving themselves) around is so much part of everyday life the consideration of transport in society is in fact a consideration of how we organise society itself. To assess barriers to transport accessibility for the disabled is to a considerable extent to assess the degree to which disabled persons encounter barriers to contributing to and participating in society.
Two central research questions inform the research carried out:
• What are the experiences of people with a disability in relation to accessibility and availability of transport and what geographical variations occur?

• What scope exists in current policies at national and regional level to respond to the issues and challenges revealed in the survey?
The approach of this research is to draw from the experiences of people with a disability concerning their use of transport services and networks as reflected in the Irish National Disability Survey (NDS) and to use this information to investigate the implementation of spatial planning and transport policy and practice at national and regional levels.
The analysis of the NDS reveals that people with a disability are heavily dependent on car use – as either car driver or passenger – and particularly more so in areas outside the main cities. The analysis reveals that there are notable differences in the regular usage of transport modes which vary by spatial typology, by disability type, by gender and by age profile. In particular while cities show higher regular use of public transport and taxis (the non-car modes of transport), other areas show different levels of use and variation by disability types, gender and age profile. There are real and perceived barriers to the use of transport and this again varies by spatial typology.
Within the discourse of equity and economics, traditional econometric approaches to transport and spatial planning including analysis of choices and travel purposes are less useful to addressing the needs of the disabled where regular use of a mode is in many instances pre-determined by a range of factors including individual capabilities.
The delivery of disability policy including the objective of reducing social exclusion would benefit from better integration between Government Departments with a particular focus on delivering key aspects of disability policy through the spatial planning frameworks including the National Spatial Strategy and Regional Planning Guidelines.

Publisher

Association for European Transport