Our Director for Scotland John MacDonald attended the launch of Scotland’s first Accessible Travel Framework at an event in Edinburgh yesterday. In this blog John reflects on the importance of the Framework in improving access to public transport for people with disabilities and the continued role of community transport in providing inclusive and accessible transport in Scotland.
Over the past two years CTA in Scotland has been involved in a two year process of delivering Scotland’s First Accessible Travel Framework. The Framework is built from a number of stakeholders’ input including; disability organisations, transport operators , and representatives from the government. As a member of the group that drafted the Framework it is important to stress how this Framework has come into existence through a spirit of collaboration and a desire to improve the accessibility of the transport network in Scotland. The Framework clearly lays out the steps we need to take to address the parts of our transport network that remain inaccessible, whilst simultaneously recognising the work of those who already put accessibility at the heart of their services.
The Framework sets out to address three key challenges. These are; changing cultures toward disabled people’s transport needs, ensuring continuous engagement with disabled people on the development of this Framework, and ensuring an effective governance structure to set priorities and monitor and evaluate progress. The action plan for the Framework sets out to meet some of these challenges head on with measures such as; increasing the participation of disabled people in decision making in transport, agreeing common standards of service for disabled people if their service is disrupted and providing a greater amount of information on the provision of multi-modal tickets.
The Framework is the starting point from which we can improve the accessibility of our transport network. CTA works to put inclusivity and accessibility at the heart of our transport network and as such we hope that this provides the impetus through which we deliver a transport network that is fully accessible, making other services more accessible as well. We believe that users of transport should have a guaranteed right to be consulted on the development of transport in their local communities and we are enthused that this Framework sets out a commitment to greater engagement with those who have often been left most disenfranchised by the transport network.
For community transport it is our role to continue to lead by example and share best practice across the sector. Community transport has grown up where people have been unable to access the mainstream transport network, often due to their age, disability, or geographical location. It is my hope that this Framework provides the means through which community transport continues to show its value and can play an enhanced role in the development of a fully integrated and accessible transport network in Scotland.
You can read the report in full here
Humza Yousaf Minister for Transport and the Islands who launched the Framework yesterday will be attending our CTA Scotland Conference on 25th October 2016. If you want to be part of the conversation on the Framework and the future development of community transport you can buy your ticket here