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Buses: Disability

Department for Transport written question – answered on 9th March 2020.

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Photo of Stephen McPartland Stephen McPartland Chair, Regulatory Reform Committee, Chair, Regulatory Reform Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has received representations from representatives of the coach sector on the reasons for the low compliance by that sector with the requirement for coaches to be fully accessible by 1 January 2020.

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

The Government supports the creation of an inclusive transport network, and ensuring that disabled and non-disabled people can travel together onboard bus and coach services is key to making this a reality.

Officials engage regularly with stakeholders and we have received a range of representations concerning the impact of the application of the Regulations and of the exemptions we have issued, including from coach operators and bus and coach industry representatives.

It is the Government’s view that it is wrong to require a child to travel in a separate vehicle, segregated from their peers, simply because they are disabled. Every delay in achieving full compliance prevents disabled people from travelling with the same freedom, dignity and choice that others take for granted.

We have provided temporary exemptions to help ease the implementation of the Regulations, but once these have expired we expect all vehicles subject to the Regulations and used on home to school services to comply with them.

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