The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people Contents

Chapter 7: Transport

Introduction

271.Transport, by whatever means, presents one of the greatest challenges to disabled people. The written evidence we have received from individuals tells us more about problems with transport than about any other single topic. Those with mobility problems are not the only sufferers. Blind people, deaf people and those with mental health problems can find that transport systems put just as many obstacles in their way.

272.The frustration felt by many disabled people is summarised in the written evidence of Transport for All:

“With respect to transport, disabled people are still hugely disadvantaged. Twenty years after the DDA was passed, progress has been slow towards being able to travel with the same freedom and independence as everyone else. The difficulties disabled people face using transport is one of the major factors behind our exclusion from work; from healthcare; from education and from public life in general … While there are some examples where the Act has been useful in making the case for equality to transport providers, it has largely failed in bringing about transport equality for disabled people.”417

273.Of the many distressing experiences which our witnesses recounted, that of Mrs Catherine Scarlett, a wheelchair user, is perhaps the most vivid.

Box 8: Travel by train for a wheelchair user

“On July 10th 2014 I was travelling back from Hull to Driffield with my 12 year old daughter. We were assured a couple of times by the conductor that he would get the ramps at Driffield. We were waiting at the train door at Driffield when the signal for setting off was given and the train pulled away again … the conductor … was very apologetic and said he’d forgotten as he’d been helping a group of small children onto the train. He said that they would have to take us to Bridlington and put us on a train back. … I was very nervous on approaching Driffield and we waited by the door again but the same thing happened again! … [The guard] apologised and said he’d forgotten because he had toothache. He said if he let me off at the village that there was another train in 5 minutes. We were put down at this unmanned station and found that we had to go out via a gravelled car park and across the road to get to the other platform. I had only just got to the level crossing when the barrier came down and the other train pulled in. I had to ring my husband to pick us up.” 418

274.The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) is an independent body established by the Transport Act 1985. In 2010 it was on the Coalition Government’s list of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) to be abolished, but after consultation the Government decided to retain it specifically to advise the Department for Transport on the transport needs of disabled people.419

275.DPTAC summarised the position in their written evidence:

“Although equality legislation over the years has resulted in many positive changes, an increase in accessibility and a different culture, and has also created a legitimate expectation among disabled people that they should be able to travel anywhere and anytime, a significant number of people in the disability world feel that the Equality Act 2010 has been a backward step. The focus on disability has been lost, aggravated by the loss of a dedicated body (the Disability Rights Commission) focused on establishing case law and publishing good practice guidance … The major gap in transport is inadequate monitoring and enforcement. Although much of the basic accessibility provision is now in place through the construction requirements for rail and bus …. there is little effort going into making sure that accessibility features are consistently in place and working … audio and visual announcements on trains are one clear example.”420

Trains: infrastructure and accessibility

276.When Keith Richards, the Chair of DPTAC, spoke at the Committee’s seminar on 30 June 2015, he told us that in the initial design of Crossrail seven of the stations were not wheelchair accessible. We asked Crossrail for details. They explained that, although not all stations would have step-free access when their section of the line was opened, by December 2019, when the whole line was open from Reading and Heathrow in the west through the central tunnelled section to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, all stations would have step-free access. This however is a relatively recent development. Transport for London told us that “just last year [2014] we were able to secure funding for seven stations along the route which were originally not going to be step-free, following considerable engagement with accessibility representatives, a huge achievement for all involved.” The end result may be what is required, but we find it astonishing that, in the development of new rail infrastructure, retaining stations without step-free access could even have been contemplated. The Department for Transport, Network Rail and Transport for London must ensure that there is never again a prospect of new rail infrastructure being planned without step-free access being built into the design from the outset.

277.Much of the rest of the country lags behind London. David Redgewell, a much-travelled member of Bus Users UK in the South West region, listed a number of local stations in the Bristol area where there were problems. He thought the Great Western Railway electrification project was in danger of leaving some stations without disabled access. Despite this, his view was that First Great Western and South West Trains had been “very progressive in pushing for disabled access under the “Access for All” programme, but the money [was] very limited”.421 We received from JL Evans criticism of Northern Rail and Newcastle station announcements.422 RNIB told us of problems with stations in Wales.423

278.Even where the infrastructure is supposedly in place, it is of little use when, as we heard, there are such problems as lifts out of order, ramps in the wrong place or no ramps at all, and absence of station staff, to name but a few. There is a long way to go, but some things have improved. Jonathan Fogerty, a tetraplegic wheelchair user whose evidence on enforcement problems we consider in Chapter 9, told us:

“In the many years I have been a wheelchair user, I have seen changes in the social environment and improvements in access generally. By way of example, the first time that I travelled to London from Manchester by train I sat in the unheated guard’s van with the bags of mail. I am now able to access a wheelchair space on the train and to travel in comfort with access to a wheelchair accessible toilet facility on board the train.”424

Bus travel

279.In the case of travel by bus and coach, our evidence shows major variations in the attitude of different companies to the needs of disabled people. Mr Redgewell, again concentrating on the South West, told us that 90% of the time where buses were accessible he had easy access to the service; Stagecoach West had a disabled helpline and would provide a taxi in Gloucestershire when he was unable to board a bus. But he added: “The Government needs to do more in terms of grants to improve disabled access at bus stations especially at Gloucester (new scheme), Plymouth (new scheme), Weston Super Mare and Bristol (new scheme).”425 He thought more support for infrastructure was needed, including talking bus stops, real time information and large print timetables. “Some of the worst councils for public transport delivery are Somerset (cuts in evening, Saturday and Sunday services) and South Gloucestershire where urban buses have been cut to save £600,000 including links to Cossham hospital and Filton Abbey Wood railway station without full public consultation or an equalities impact assessment.”426

280.The picture which emerges is that, on the whole, in larger towns and cities the bus services for disabled people are usually adequate, in smaller towns they are variable, and in the countryside they are with few exceptions inadequate.

281.Conversion of buses to facilitate disabled access is often impracticable, and it of course takes time for a large rural fleet of buses to be replaced. But no one can pretend that there has not been adequate time. DPTAC explained that as long ago as 2000 the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations427 (PSVAR) were made which included end dates by which all non-compliant vehicles should be withdrawn from service.

“These ‘end dates’ were negotiated with the bus industry and were intended to reflect the working life of a bus so that there should be no wholesale withdrawal of buses which still have a number of working years ahead of them. The dates were phased over a 2-year period depending on the size of the bus. The first of these end dates was reached on 1st January 2015 at which point all single deck buses weighing less than 7.5 tonnes should have been compliant with regulations. From 1st January 2016 all single deck buses should comply with PSVAR and from 1st January 2017 all double deck buses should comply.”428

282.DPTAC was concerned that the Government and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) had not been seen to be taking action during 2014 to alert the bus industry to the impending deadline. In March 2015 DPTAC was told that the DVSA had taken enforcement action against three operators who were continuing to use non-compliant buses, and that a number of other operators were being investigated. They wrote:

“While we were encouraged that action is being taken in some cases it was not clear to us that the outcome was the replacement of non-compliant vehicles with those which do comply with the regulations … DPTAC recognises that many of these smaller single deck buses are used in rural areas with low profitability. Businesses that have not planned their capital investment programme may be put in financial difficulties if they are forced to replace significant numbers of vehicles at short notice. We don’t want to see the PSVAR end dates result in loss of services.”429

283.Like DPTAC, we would deplore a loss of services, but the responsibility is squarely that of the operators. They have known of these deadlines for 15 years. A failure to enforce them may give larger operators the impression that they need not be concerned about using larger non-compliant buses beyond the deadlines, the last of which will be reached at the end of this year.

284.FirstGroup say that they have invested heavily in new vehicles and that they are making “excellent progress” towards meeting the deadlines set by the PSVAR. They said that they work with groups and charities representing disabled people, and are working on improving audio-visual next-stop information.430 This is encouraging, but we fear it may not be typical of all operators.

285.Network Rail, TfL, train operators and bus companies should put more of their resources towards making their stations and vehicles more easily accessible to those in wheelchairs. It should not need enforcement proceedings or the threat of such proceedings before operators comply.

286.The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency must enforce strictly the Regulations governing access to vehicles.

Audio-visual annunciators

287.Terry Riley, the Chair of the British Deaf Association, gave us a vivid example of what it is like to travel without basic information: “Imagine you are standing on a train platform and you hear an announcement: “Sorry, the train is going from platform 15 rather than 13”. As a deaf person … before I realise it, I turn around and everyone has left the platform because they are all on the train two platforms down, and I have missed it. … I have in fact missed two planes because there has been an announcement of a change of gate.”431

288.And, of course, the problem is equally acute for the visually impaired where announcements are made only in visual form. Guide Dogs explained:

“The lack of such announcements on buses is a major hindrance to people with sight loss, who use buses more than those who are not disabled, as their disability prevents them from driving a car … A recent report by Guide Dogs shows that 7 out of 10 bus passengers with sight loss have been forgotten by a bus driver who was asked to notify them when their stop was reached. For a sighted person, missing a stop is an irritating experience; for somebody unable to see, it is distressing, disorientating and sometimes dangerous.”432

289.As with access to transport, things are better in the capital. Robert Wright, a former Head of the Coventry Service for Visually Impaired Children, wrote that “every bus and tube train in London ‘talks’ [an audible and (for deaf people) visual) signal] giving current location, next stop and the terminus. Provision of this facility in other parts of the country is extremely patchy.”433 Transport for All said in written evidence: “Outside London, few bus companies have installed audio-visual information on their buses (Talking Buses) although it only costs 1% of the cost of a new bus. Few buses have hearing loops. Two thirds (65%) of blind and partially sighted bus passengers have missed their stop in the last six months.”434

290.Things are better with trains than with buses. In oral evidence the Chair of DPTAC, Keith Richards, said:

“There is a requirement in the regulations that cover rail accessibility to have audio-visual information … It does seem to me very odd that there is not a mirroring in the bus regulations of what is in the rail regulations435 … with local bus franchising, it makes absolute sense that if somebody is being given public money, or public approval, to operate something—and franchising is a public approval process—the give-back is that they have to prove they meet established good quality accessibility criteria, and not only that they meet them but that they continue to meet them and continue to improve; otherwise, there is no money, no approval and no franchise”.436

The Discrimination Law Association and Guide Dogs both commented in their written evidence on the discrepancy between the Regulations governing trains437 and buses.438

Retrofitting

291.Mr Richards’ view was that on new rolling stock and new buses it makes absolute sense, and economic sense, to build in audio-visual annunciators.439 Retrofitting, the fitting of annunciators to existing rolling stock and buses, is more expensive. To what extent cost is an inhibiting factor is a matter of dispute. Simon Posner, from the Confederation of Passenger Transport, told us that “one of the problems with providing audio-visual, which is an ideal way of going forward, is one of cost. It is a huge cost at the moment to retrofit vehicles …”.440 However Mr Richards said: “we have yet to see the evidence to show that it does cost as much as many bus operating companies say it costs to retrofit for example, audio-visual.”441

292.Commenting directly on Mr Posner’s evidence, Guide Dogs told us in supplementary evidence: “The campaign for audio-visual announcements does not call for retrofitting, but instead is to ensure all new buses are fitted with audio-visual announcements, as is the case for train and as was recommended by the Transport Select Committee in 2013.442 This is to ensure it is affordable for bus companies, especially small operators who are more likely to buy buses second hand.”443

293.More resources should be devoted to providing annunciators on trains and buses which do not have them. No new vehicles should be put into service which do not have audio and visual annunciators. The Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 should be amended accordingly.

Training for bus and train staff

294.On 16 February 2011 the EU adopted a Regulation444 to improve the carriage of passengers on buses and coaches in the EU. It came into force on 1 March 2013 and is directly applicable in the United Kingdom. Article 16(1) provides that carriers must establish disability-related training procedures, and ensure that all their personnel, including drivers, receive disability awareness training, and all personnel other than drivers receive training in assisting disabled people. However Article 16(2) allows Member States to exempt drivers from this provision for up to 5 years. In June 2012 the Department for Transport consulted about this exemption. They received 207 responses, 9 in favour of the exemption and 196 (including 182 in the form of a campaign by the RNIB) against. They decided to “continue to follow the Government’s guiding principle to ensure that UK businesses are not put at a competitive disadvantage compared with their European counterparts by making full use of all available exemptions.”445 This exemption therefore applies until March 2018.

295.Simon Posner, speaking for the Confederation of Passenger Transport, told us that for bus companies, unlike train operators, there is no requirement to have a disabled people’s protection policy, but he added:

“Each bus company takes that very seriously and puts in their own requirements to do so … Each bus driver has to go through [the Certificate of Professional Competence]. Items one and two are disability awareness training and customer awareness training … over 150,000 bus drivers and staff around bus stations have now been through that training, which is the great majority, if not all, of the staff there.”446

296.Mr Richards (DPTAC) pointed out that in March 2018, when the exemption expires, “the inevitable is going to happen. Why not do it now?”447 We agree. Within two years bus companies will have to have their drivers trained in accordance with the Annex to the Regulation. Where staff are inadequately trained, the impact on disabled people is felt now. We do not see how, with the possible exception of the coach companies which operate in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe, there is any way in which bus or coach companies can be placed at a competitive disadvantage. So why indeed not withdraw the exemption now?

297.In the case of the railways the position is better, but there is still no mandatory requirement for training up to a set standard. David Sindall, the Head of Disability and Inclusion at the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), told us that “train operators are obligated to deliver disability equality training through something called the disabled person’s protection policy. This falls out of the requirements in the Railways Act. All train operators deliver disability equality training of one form or another.”448 However he added that “ATOC has no power to instruct our members to go out there and train their staff, but we have a group—the ATOC disability group—which is … always looking for ways of improving training and sharing best practice in terms of what happens with training.”449

298.Training of all rail, bus and coach staff to a level agreed in consultation and set out in law is in our view essential. If no adequate level of training can be agreed, Ministers have power under section 22(2) of the Equality Act to make Regulations prescribing the level of training which is reasonable. They should be prepared to use these reserve powers if necessary, and to enforce the Regulations they make.

Taxis

299.The importance of transport by taxis for disabled people scarcely needs to be emphasised. Rachel Crasnow QC, for the Bar Council, said that taxis were “a vital means of transport for many people with mobility problems.”450 As Elliot Dunster451 pointed out, “taxis and private hire vehicles are not just issues for people with physical disabilities; people with mental health problems or learning disabilities or autism are much more likely to use taxis or private hire vehicles if they cannot use public transport for a variety of reasons.”452

300.The Government agreed. In written evidence it described taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) as “a particularly valuable form of transport for disabled people.”453 In his oral evidence Andrew Jones MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, said: “I fully recognise that taxis, private hire vehicles and buses are of fundamental importance for disabled people. There is no question about that.”454

The provisions of the Act

301.Even before the DDA 1995 the Government’s White Paper Ending Discrimination against Disabled People, said: “The door-to-door service which taxis provide makes them ideally suited for use by disabled people.”455 It is therefore surprising that the Bill that became the 1995 Act, as introduced in the Commons, did not contain any provisions for increased access to transport for disabled people, and in particular no provisions about transport by taxi. It was not until 15 June 1995, when the Bill reached Committee stage in the House of Lords, that the Government put forward the proposals for transport by taxi, in particular accessibility and carriage of assistance dogs, that became sections 32 to 39 of the DDA. They are now in Chapter 1 of Part 12 of the Equality Act. They have therefore been on the statute book for 20 years.

302.In moving the amendments on 15 June 1995 the Minister, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish, said that the provisions would apply “from days to be determined”.456 In the case of the most important of those provisions, 20 years later those days have yet to be determined.

303.Sections 168 to 171 of the Equality Act, which deal with assistance dogs, are in force, as are section 172 (appeals) and section 173 (interpretation). But the position on sections 160 to 167, dealing with the accessibility of taxis to wheelchair users, is different. The only one of these provisions fully in force is section 166, dealing with exemptions. Section 160, giving the Secretary of State power to make Taxi Accessibility Regulations, is not in force, so that no such Regulations have been made; nor are sections 163 and 164, which deal respectively with making taxi licences conditional on compliance with such Regulations, and with exemptions from such Regulations.

The failure to commence section 165

304.Section 165(4) of the Act imposes on taxi drivers and drivers of PHVs the following duties:

(a)to carry the passenger while in the wheelchair;

(b)not to make any additional charge for doing so;

(c)if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the wheelchair;

(d)to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort;

(e)to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required.

305.Section 165 applies to taxis and PHVs designated by a licensing authority under section 167. Section 166 allows drivers to apply for exemption from the duties imposed by section 165. Of these three sections, section 166 has been fully in force since 1 October 2010, but sections 165 and 167 are in force only “for the purpose of the issue of exemption certificates under section166”.457 In other words, taxi drivers can apply for exemption from duties which do not apply and which, since their enactment 20 years ago, have never applied.

306.The Government’s post-legislative memorandum gives no reason for the failure to commence the only provisions of section 165 which matter. In its written evidence the Government states: “The Government is considering the case for commencing Section 165 … we will have to consider very carefully how best to ensure that drivers are fully aware of the nature and extent of these duties.”458 In oral evidence Graham Pendlebury, the Director of Local Transport at the Department for Transport, said: “It is correct that we have not yet commenced Section 165. There were a number of reasons for that. It is under constant review. The concerns were really around burdens on drivers and whether this particular provision would fully meet the varied needs of different types of disabled people.” 459

307.Even before he gave oral evidence to us, on 25 November Andrew Jones MP wrote to the Chairman:

“I can assure you that the Government is continuing to consider the case for commencing section 165 of the Equality Act. This Government is committed to reducing the amount of regulation we place on people, particularly small businesses, and making sure any regulation is absolutely necessary. Therefore, in this case we need to consider whether there are alternative ways of improving driver behaviour and the service the public receives before implementing legislation.”460

When he gave oral evidence to us on 15 December 2015 we pressed the Minister on this issue, but the furthest he would go was to say: “I am quite supportive of the basic principle. We are at the moment considering what to do with this. We have considered it and I am hoping to make a decision very shortly.”461

308.Many witnesses felt strongly about this issue. Rachel Crasnow QC asked “why it is that this particular strand of providers has been given carte blanche to ignore the provisions of an Act”.462 Lucy Scott-Moncrieff (Law Society) agreed with the Chairman that the failure to bring section 165 into force was “deplorable”.463 Doug Paulley wrote that the delay in implementing these sections had resulted in disabled people continuing to experience “significant barriers” in using taxis.464 Transport for All described the failure to bring section 165 into force as “the most glaring gap”, and continued:

“wheelchair users up and down the country regularly report being refused a cab and 2 out of 3 wheelchair users say they have been refused a taxi. When wheelchair users in London report being refused, TfL only issue a warning to the driver and people who report being charged a higher fare are told it is a fair surcharge for an accessible vehicle. This is in stark contrast with penalties faced by drivers who refuse guide dogs, which include fines and having their licences revoked. Bringing Section 165 into force is long overdue.”465

309.Douglas Johnson asked the very pertinent question:

“Where the leadership is on this—which is a very important thing—from the Government’s Equality Office and the Equality and Human Rights Commission? Surely those bodies should be taking a step forward to say, “This was passed by Parliament for good reason” … there is a failure of leadership there among those organisations that really should be driving that.”466

310.The Minister was mindful of the need to reduce the burden of regulation on taxi-drivers; but we do not see that they can complain about the burden of converting their taxis to be wheelchair-accessible, since they have known for 20 years that this might happen. He preferred to consider “whether there are alternative ways of improving driver behaviour”,467 which ignores the fact that 20 years ago Parliament chose the way of statutory enforcement. But he also said that he was hoping to make a decision “very shortly”.468 We believe there is only one decision he can make.

311.The reasons offered by the Government for failing to bring section 165 into force 20 years after its enactment are entirely unconvincing. Ministers should be considering the burden on disabled people trying to take taxis, not the burden on taxi owners or drivers. Section 165 and the remaining provisions of Part 12 of the Act should be brought into force forthwith.

Training of taxi drivers

312.We have already emphasised the importance of regular disability training for the staff of rail, bus and coach operators. Training for taxi drivers is at least as important. The Law Commission dealt with this in its report on Taxi and Private Hire Services.469 The enforcement route chosen by the Law Commission is through increased powers of the licensing authorities. This has also been suggested by our witnesses, and we deal with it in Chapter 10. We also deal there with the enforcement of other provisions of the Act relating to taxis.

Local transport problems

313.Some of the evidence we received from individual witnesses related to problems they had encountered in their localities. We received written evidence from Martin Phelps who, until it was wound up, was Management Committee Treasurer of the Lewisham Shopmobility Scheme. Under these schemes, mobility scooters and wheelchairs are hired to people with impaired mobility to access a town centre. In oral evidence to us Mr Phelps explained: “Most town centres … are becoming pedestrianised areas, and quite large pedestrianised areas, so that, if you are a disabled person who struggles to walk 50 yards, being dropped off 200 yards away from the town centre and then negotiating a massive pedestrianised area is a real challenge.”470

314.In relation to the Lewisham regeneration programme Mr Phelps wrote: “What concerns me is the lack of any attention paid to the needs of disabled people wanting to access the town centre.”471 He expanded on this in oral evidence:

“When they did the redevelopment, there were some things they did that they should have known were going to have an impact on disabled people. They removed disabled parking bays, they took away the shelter that people use when they are waiting for the DialaRide, and they took away the stop so that they [disabled people] could no longer get there … now they have to be dropped off a couple of hundred yards away and cross a very busy road … They have moved the taxi rank … to a place where the pavement is so narrow and low that the taxi ramps that are built into the taxis do not work properly. These things all add up to making that whole area quite inaccessible.”472

315.We believe it is usually a lack of awareness and forethought which results in local authorities often adding to rather than reducing the burden on wheelchair users and other disabled people. This emphasises the importance of consultation; local authorities must consult disabled people on a regular basis about the actions they plan, and act on what they are told.

Shared spaces

316.In a note issued in 2011 the Department for Transport defined a shared space as “a street or place designed to improve pedestrian movement and comfort by reducing the dominance of motor vehicles and enabling all users to share the space rather than follow the clearly defined rules implied by more conventional designs.”473 Mr Pendlebury told us that the Department was neutral about shared spaces, believing that they were a matter for local authorities, but said: “Evidence from around the world, including some continental cities, is that shared space can bring a lot of benefits. It creates places that are attractive, that people want to linger in, that create a more vibrant atmosphere and that generate economic growth.”474

317.The Department acknowledged that “some disabled and older people can feel apprehensive about using the space, particularly where a level surface is used”.475 This came out clearly from the evidence we received. Guide Dogs were especially critical:

“Controlled crossings (such as pelican crossings) and road markings are also often removed in order to reduce clutter and create ambiguity. The scheme relies on eye contact to negotiate priority, which automatically puts somebody who is unable to see at a disadvantage. … People with sight loss report that shared surfaces turn city centres into ‘no-go’ areas for them. Thus, by approving these schemes, local authorities are actively discouraging people with sight loss from participating in public life by preventing them from accessing civic centres.”476

318.It is not just those with mobility issues (who may find level surfaces helpful) or those with sight loss (who find level surfaces difficult and potentially dangerous) who have issues with shared spaces. Rachel Smalley, an expert in housing policy and President of the Access Association, pointed out that “design standards need to take into account a range of impairments and disabilities, and that needs to include dementia, learning disabilities and mental health issues”.477

319.Ms Smalley was concerned by the Department for Transport’s view that shared spaces were a matter for local authorities:

“For a lot of disabled people, including blind and partially-sighted people, national consistency is very important. The layout of tactile paving that you see at crossing points is nationally consistent so that a blind or partially-sighted person can go anywhere in the country and read and use the environment safely. The Department for Transport saying it is up to individual local government authorities or bodies to make decisions on this could create a patchwork effect of one solution being put in this city and another in that city.”478

320.In March 2015 Lord Holmes of Richmond479 launched a survey into Shared Spaces with a consultation on the web. His report, Accidents by Design, published July 2015, concluded:

“Regardless of their mode of transport, disability status or gender, this survey found an overwhelming majority of respondents did not enjoy using shared spaces. This survey also found a third of respondents go out of their way to actively avoid shared space schemes. Respondents who did use them described feeling intimidated, anxious and frightened, not only for their own safety, but also for the safety of others … the results of this survey show that there is an urgent need for an immediate moratorium on shared space until there is more and better evidence about the impact of shared space schemes including an improved (central) record of accident data and a better understanding of the consequences of people literally designed out of these spaces.”480

321.We believe that these criticisms are undoubtedly justified in relation to some shared space schemes, but although we appreciate the width of the consultation carried out by Lord Holmes, we believe that such schemes can be, and that some already are, designed to produce areas which are attractive to the majority without being unsafe for a minority. We share Ms Smalley’s view that disabled people are entitled to consistency of design, and note that the courts have already ruled against a local council which decided not to follow national guidance on tactile surfaces but to develop its own practice.481

322.Local authorities, in developing their schemes, must consult those who will be affected by them, and are of course bound by the PSED to have regard to the needs of disabled people—or to go further, if the recommendations in the following chapter are accepted by the Government. The disabled people who must be consulted include those who, as appears from the evidence we have quoted, have ceased to visit shared spaces because they are no longer confident enough to use them.

323. It is outside our terms of reference to make specific recommendations about whether shared spaces should proceed, and if so on what basis. However local authorities should not be acting independently without any central guidance. The Department for Transport’s 2011 Note contains only a brief reference to the Equality Act, and where the problems of disabled people are dealt with, there is little specific guidance.482

324.The Department for Transport should update its 2011 Local Transport Note to offer guidance to local authorities on how shared spaces schemes can best cater for the needs of disabled people. Local authorities should review existing schemes in the light of that guidance, make changes where necessary and practicable, and base any new schemes on that guidance.

417 Written evidence from Transport for All (EQD0116)

418 Written evidence from Mrs Catherine Scarlett (EQD0004)

419 HC Deb, 12 June 2013, col 9WS

420 Written evidence from the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) (EQD0094)

421 Written evidence from Bus Users UK South West (EQD0070)

422 Written evidence from JL Evans (EQD0114)

423 Written evidence from RNIB (EQD0164)

424 Written evidence from Jonathan Fogerty (EQD0152)

425 Written evidence from Bus Users UK South West (EQD0070)

426 Ibid.

427 Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1970)

428 Written evidence from the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (EQD0094)

429 Written evidence from the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (EQD0094)

430 Written evidence from FirstGroup plc (EQD0133)

431 Q 69 (Terry Riley)

432 Written evidence from Guide Dogs (EQD0041)

433 Written evidence from Robert Wright (EQD0013)

434 Written evidence from Transport for All (EQD0116)

435 All the more so since DPTAC were consulted before the PSVAR were made.

436 Q 86 (Keith Richards)

437 The Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/2456)

438 Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 2000, (SI 2000/1970). Written evidence from Discrimination Law Association (EQD0129) and Guide Dogs (EQD0041)

439 Q 87 (Keith Richards)

440 Q 94 (Simon Posner)

441 Q 87 (Keith Richards)

442 Transport Select Committee, Access to transport for disabled people (Fifth Report, Session 2013–14, HC 116)

443 Supplementary written evidence from Guide Dogs (EQD0195)

444 Regulation (EU) No 181/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004, OJ L55 of 28 February 2011.

445 Department for Transport, Summary of Responses to the Government’s consultation on EU Regulation 181/2011 on bus and coach passenger rights, July 2012, p 4: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/86082/consultation-responses.pdf [accessed 15 March 2016]

446 Q 92 (Simon Posner)

447 Q 83 (Keith Richards). The same point was made by Guide Dogs in their written evidence (EQD0041).

448 Q 92 (David Sindall)

449 Ibid.

450 Q 49 (Rachel Crasnow QC)

451 Group Head of Policy, Research and Public Affairs, Scope

452 Q 56 (Elliot Dunster)

453 Written evidence from HM Government through the Department for Education (EQD0121)

454 Q179 (Andrew Jones MP)

455 HM Government, Ending Discrimination against Disabled People, Cm 2729, January 1995, p 30: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/272213/2729.pdf [accessed 11 March 2016]

456 HL Deb, 15 June 1995, col 2034

457 Equality Act 2010, Section 165

458 Written evidence from HM Government through the Department for Education (EQD0121)

459 Q 81 (Graham Pendlebury)

460 Written evidence from the Department for Transport (EQD0186)

461 Q 179 (Andrew Jones MP)

462 Q 49 (Rachel Crasnow QC)

463 Q 49 (Lucy Scott-Moncrieff)

464 Written evidence from Doug Paulley (EQD0097)

465 Written evidence from Transport for All (EQD0116)

466 49 (Douglas Johnson)

467 Written evidence from the Department for Transport (EQD0186)

468 Q 179 (Andrew Jones MP)

470 Q 145 (Martin Phelps)

471 Written evidence from Lewisham Shopmobility (EQD0015)

472 Q 142 (Martin Phelps)

473 Department for Transport, Local Transport Note 1/11 Shared Space, October 2011 para 1.9: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/3873/ltn-1-11.pdf [accessed 16 March 2016]

474 Q 84 (Graham Pendlebury)

475 Department for Transport, Local Transport Note 1/11 Shared Space, October 2011 para 1.18: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/3873/ltn-1-11.pdf [accessed 16 March 2016]

476 Written evidence from Guide Dogs (EQD0041)

477 Q 140 (Rachel Smalley)

478 Q 139 (Rachel Smalley)

479 Lord Holmes of Richmond is the Disability Commissioner of the EHRC, but his inquiry was carried out independently.

480 Lord Holmes of Richmond, Accidents by design: The Holmes report on “shared space” in the United Kingdom (July 2015) p 20: http://www.theihe.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Holmes-Report-on-Shared-Space-.pdf [accessed on 4 March 2016]

481 Ali v London Borough of Newham, [2012] EWHC 2970

482 Department for Transport, Local Transport Note 1/11 Shared Space, October 2011 paras 1.20–1.22 and 3.6–3.17: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/3873/ltn-1-11.pdf [accessed 16 March 2016]




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