Public Transport: Coronavirus

Department for Transport written question – answered on 12th June 2020.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that public transport remains accessible for blind and partially sighted people during every stage of the covid-19 lockdown.

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

The Government remains committed to delivering inclusive transport for all passengers. Our expectation is that transport operators should continue to assist disabled passengers who need assistance, including those with sight loss, as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. I made this clear in my open letter to the rail industry on 8 April 2020.

I am also meeting regularly with key disability stakeholders, including Guide Dogs, to hear directly from them about the experiences of disabled people using transport. This means we will be able to take action quickly if we find that passengers are not receiving the assistance to which they are entitled.

On 12 May, the Department published guidance for transport operators that will help organisations, agencies and others (such as self-employed transport providers) understand how to provide safer workplaces and services for themselves, their workers and passengers across all modes of private and public transport. It outlines measures to assess and address the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the transport sector across England. The Department will review the guidance as the measures change, and will consider the needs of disabled people in this process.

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