Bus Services: Disability

Department for Transport written question – answered on 22nd May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Holmes of Richmond Lord Holmes of Richmond Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their Bus Services Act 2017: bus open data consultation response, published in January, why the provision of accessibility information “would be too great an implementation burden for bus operators”; and what assessment they have made of the impact of the lack of such information on those with disabilities.

Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Department for Transport consulted with bus operators, passengers and their representative groups to explore the technical feasibility of requiring operators and/or local transport authorities to provide accessibility data for both vehicles and stops. We came to the conclusion that the industry is not yet ready to meet this challenge and therefore have chosen to focus on only legally requiring the core data types for the Bus Open Data Digital Service.

Whilst we do consider accessibility information to be of great importance for public transport users, many operators would need to upgrade their systems in order to openly publish accessibility information, and many operators are not currently in a position to do so.

However, we are working with the industry to support the voluntary and open publication of accessibility information and at a later stage in the programme, after the core requirements have been successfully delivered, return to this important data type and consider whether it would be feasible to legally require the industry to openly publish accessibility information about vehicles.

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