Priorities for the Use of Bus Transport by Disabled People, Older People and Parents with Young Children in Buggies



Priorities for the Use of Bus Transport by Disabled People, Older People and Parents with Young Children in Buggies

Authors

G Pettersson, Pettersson Associates, UK

Description

Between 35% and 40% of the European Union?s population has reduced mobility and
included in that definition are not only disabled people but also older people and
those with heavy shopping, bulky luggage and people with buggies.

Abstract

Between 35% and 40% of the European Union?s population has reduced mobility and
included in that definition are not only disabled people but also older people and
those with heavy shopping, bulky luggage and people with buggies. It is widely
acknowledged that the ageing demographic profile of the population will have a
significant impact on the demand for accessible transport vehicles and infrastructure.

Section 40 of the UK Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 gives the Secretary of
State a power to make regulations to ensure that public service vehicles are
accessible to disabled people. The government used this power to introduce the
Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000. The Regulations state that
from 31 December 2000 new single and double deck buses that can carry more than
22 passengers need to be accessible to disabled people, including wheelchair users.
For new coaches and smaller buses the requirement for wheelchair access applied
from January 2005. The Regulations require regulated vehicles to be fitted with not
less than one wheelchair space.

The area in the bus on general bus services that is designated for wheelchair use is
often also identified as space for buggies and the availability of low floor buses has
encouraged people with buggies to travel without the inconvenience of having to get
their small child out of the buggy and fold it. The wheelchair and buggy space also
frequently has flip-down seating which can be used by any passenger but these
passengers may be reluctant to move to allow a wheelchair or buggy to occupy this
space. In relation to signage, the Regulations state that there should be a sign on or
near the flipped down or folding seats stating ?please give up this seat for a
wheelchair user or words of equivalent meaning?.

The number of bus and light rail passenger journeys in England was nearly 4.9billion
in 2008/9. The new generation of low floor buses has improved access not only for
wheelchair users but also people with other mobility difficulties, people with small
children in buggies, and those carrying heavy shopping or luggage. The demands for
the accessible space on low floor buses can exceed supply on certain routes and/or
at times when the buses are especially busy.

Publisher

Association for European Transport