In the coming months, the city will introduce a new Transport Charter aimed at enhancing and assisting the experience of people with disabilities who use public transit in the city.
The Council established the Disability Equality Action Partnership (DEAP), which consists of the Council, disability organisations, universities, schools and colleges, and individuals with disabilities.
The Transport Charter outlines commitments such as: promoting public transportation as fully inclusive for people of all abilities; ensuring better implementation of priority seating policies; publicising the availability of permit provision for scooters on public transportation; supporting the expansion of electric bus capacity and allocation to more bus routes in polluted areas of the city; and supporting the expansion of electric bus capacity and allocation to more bus routes in polluted areas of the city.
The aim of the project is for regional partners and transportation companies to recognise how they already serve disabled individuals of all ages with visible and non-visible disabilities, as well as how they can help even more. Until being formally launched in the city later this year, the Charter is currently being tested with disability forums for input.
The goal is to raise awareness among transportation providers of the problems faced by disabled travellers, as well as to strengthen the message that they are completely committed to introducing all realistic and viable steps to increase access, freedom, and inclusion to public transportation.
Although complying with the charter is not necessary, many providers understand that their activities favour their company by encouraging more people with disabilities to ride public transit with confidence.
“This builds on the momentum of the Shoppers Charter back in 2019 in making our city a disabled friendly place,” said Cllr Christine Thomas, chair of the Disability Equality Action Partnership (DEAP) and Transport Charter lead. It also contributes to the Wellbeing for Life ethos and the City of Culture 2021.”
“It is important that transportation operators, regional partners, and local residents appreciate the importance of the ‘purple pound £,’ and that disabled people are involved in our city’s planning. We will provide a truly integrated public transportation infrastructure that people with disabilities and special needs can use with trust if we work together.”
Cllr George Duggins, the leader of Coventry City Council, said:
“Peoples with disabilities have been among those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are committed as a council to ensure that the quality of life for these members of our community improves. Part of this commitment is working to break down and remove existing barriers and obstacles that many people with disabilities continue to face such as using public transport.
“I fully support the work of the Disability Equality Action Partnership (DEAP) in making our city a more inclusive place to live and I we welcome all feedback during the consultation period to make this Charter the best it can be.”
“This Transport Charter is fantastic news for Coventry and involves promises around electric buses, which would make a big dent in tackling air pollution,” said Cllr O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration. These will complement our existing programmes to increase air quality, and it will greatly improve the lives of people with disabilities who are affected by pollution.
“We already have a great working relationship with bus companies like National Express Coventry, and we’ve been working together to make our public transportation network greener, safer, and more available for everyone.”
The Transport Charter was developed in response to input from a number of associations, agencies, and persons with disabilities that suggested that more should be done to ensure the rights and equality of all people with disabilities throughout the region.