Single Equality Scheme published by Department for Transport

January 15, 2010

The Department for Transport (DfT) has published its Single Equality Scheme. This covers services to the public as well as its obligations as an employer.

The Single Equality Scheme cites achievements made so far in improving access to transport such as the following:

* 62 per cent of the national bus fleet is now low floor, with a target to increase this to 100 per cent by 2017

* 35 per cent of new rail vehicles are accessible, with a target to increase this to 100 per cent by 2020

* new European legislation to protect people with restricted mobility when travelling by air was fully incorporated into UK law in July 2009

* improvements have been made at 32 priority railway stations. A further 1,000 stations have been offered funding for smaller schemes

* the ‘Harrington Hump’ project, which won the Delivery of Customer Service Award at the Civil Service Diversity and Equality Awards 2009. This is a glass reinforced plastic hump installed at stations with low platforms, which raises the platform area to reduce the gap between the platform and the train

The Single Equality Scheme also sets out what the DfT intends to do to improve access going forward, including the following:

* continue to remove barriers to travel at railway stations through the Access for All programme

* increase number of accessible taxis reflecting different needs of people.

* improve taxi driver assistance

* ensure Rail Franchise Specification and Management cover Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements and conform to Disabled People’s Protection Policy

* work with DSA and mobility centres to increase the availability of driving instructors able to teach disabled people

* provide driving instructors with skills to teach people with a variety of needs and with access to adapted vehicles