Active Travel Pilots: Accessibility to Disabled People

Transport – in the House of Commons on 24th June 2021.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

What steps he is taking to ensure that all active travel pilots are fully accessible to disabled people.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring active travel schemes are accessible to all. Government guidance, which includes the “Cycle Infrastructure Design” publication, reflects best practice in safety and inclusivity for disabled pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair and Motability scooter users.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

The Government are rolling out a number of pilots for e-scooters and also supporting with funding a number of schemes to expand active travel, yet those schemes do not need to have accessible formats of travel for disabled people and older people, further excluding them from the benefits of active travel and moving around in car-free environments. Will the Minister ensure that every pilot scheme is expanded so that it is fully accessible? Will he also challenge the sector to provide Motability scooters and other forms of e-travel that are fully accessible for everyone in our communities?

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

It is very important that local authorities consider the impacts of e-scooters on people with disabilities and allow them to access the trials as well. E-scooters have the potential to offer additional means of transport, and we allowed seated e-scooters within the scope of the trials to enable people with certain mobility issues to use them. Our guidance told local authorities to encourage groups representing the interests of disabled people in their areas to advise people with accessibility issues on how they can best use the schemes.