Innovation in the transport network is an ongoing process of developing the means by which we manage the transport needs of a growing and increasingly mobile society. Whatever the future of innovation looks like it is our belief that more has to be done for innovating for transport users who have additional needs in accessing transport, whether that be due to a disability, age, or social isolation. It is in this light that we are pleased to see Transport for London announce their Action on Equality Plan.
In their strategy TfL rightly point out that London is unique in its diversity and as such the transport network requires sustained investment to meet the needs of all Londoners. Rightly, TfL can point toward some of the successes that has come about due to their investment. For example, 85% of TfL’s bus stops are now accessible.
As a movement accessibility is central to everything we do. Our members cater for a demographic who are often unable to access the mainstream transport network. TfL’s vision for equality and inclusion is that ‘every person matters in keeping London moving, working and growing.’ The importance of every journey cannot be overstated, and we are pleased that the proper treatment of passengers is high on TfLs agenda.
There is unlikely to be anyone who would disagree with making transport more inclusive or accessible. In this light TfL have set out 11 equality objectives, for the purposes of this blog we have decided to focus on the top five. They are:
Ensure services will be accessible to more people, with consistent customer service that meets the needs of all customers
Ensure that more customers will have access to the information they need to make the most of travel in London
Improve the accessibility of London’s transport infrastructure to enable more people to make the most of life in the Capital
Ensure that travel in London is safer and fewer young people, women and people from BAME communities are deterred from travelling because of safety concerns
Ensure that services offer value for money for all Londoners with a fare structure which is clear and well communicated.
If you wish to read the full list of TfLs equality objectives you can find them here (http://content.tfl.gov.uk/action-on-equality-tfls-commitments-to-2020.pdf)
The reason we have chosen the first five in particular is that they speak to a lot of the work we already know the community transport sector is doing. We are pleased to see a renewed focus on accessibility coupled with a desire to provide better information, particularly important in an era of increased multi-modal transport solutions. We believe that CT offers individuals an enhanced quality of life, something reflected in TfLs objectives of their own transport network. Finally, inclusivity and affordability is at the heart of our vision for the transport network of the future, and we believe it is timely that TfL have adopted this as one of their aims.
Equality for us is about ensuring individuals can access the transport they need to enable them to have the best life possible regardless of race, gender, sexuality, age, disability, or physical location. In looking at TfLs commitments to equality we hope that this represents a step toward establishing a transport network that is both accessible and inclusive.
If you have any comments on TfL’s Action on Equality Plan we would love to hear from you. You can email James at firstname.lastname@example.org.