Category Archives: Disability Rights

From RMT: Oppose Driver Only Trains: Respond to the government Draft Accessibility Action Plan consultation

Oppose Driver Only Trains: Respond to the government Draft Accessibility Action Plan consultation by 15th November 2017

The draft action plan sets out the Government’s proposed strategy to address the gaps in existing provision of transport services. Rail Minister Paul Maynard says in the foreword: “People with disabilities have the same right to travel independently as anyone else” and goes on to say he is committed to “delivering a transport system that works for all”.

But he is the one who is pushing through the plans to make trains in England Driver Only Operated (DOO).

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee report ‘Improving the Rail Passenger Experience’ in October 2016 has already said “We are concerned that no official impact assessment has been made of the potential effects of DOO on disabled people’s access to the railway.” Now is the time for passengers to have their say.

 

This is why your support is vital:

“Under Driver Only Operation passengers would face greater requirements to book in advance, possibly facing additional travel restrictions, which would represent a move away from the current goal of making the railway more accessible for all.” – Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB) report ‘Evaluating technological solutions to support driver only operation train dispatch’ March 2015.

“It is Conductors who are best placed to ensure that assistance is delivered effectively and in accordance with the law. In the event of an emergency Conductors can also deliver the railway’s duty of care to assisted passengers and other older and disabled people….There should always be on-board staff available to assist passengers at unstaffed stations.” Supressed report for the Rail Delivery Group, On Track for 2020? The Future of Accessible Rail Travel 2015 (only released in August 2017 after leaked to press).

“We are concerned that no official impact assessment has been made of the potential effects of DOO on disabled people’s access to the railway.” The House of Commons Transport Select Committee Improving the Rail Passenger Experience, October 2016.

 

What you can do today to help

Please Email AAPConsultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk today and let the government know how you feel as an individual.

The Government site is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/draft-transport-accessibility-action-plan

RMT have a link to the response here http://bit.ly/dooaccess

You can also use your own words or you can adapt the wording below (copy and paste and send to AAPConsultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk

“I am pleased you recognise that one in every five people in the United Kingdom has some form of disability or access requirement. However if you are determined they should be able to use the transport system and particularly trains, with confidence and ease then you should not be introducing Driver Only Operation.

I believe if the transport system is genuinely going to be ‘open to everyone’ then for people with physical and hidden disabilities to have the same access to transport, and opportunities to travel the same as everyone else, there must be a guarantee of more than just a driver on the train.

Safe systems with trained staff have to be put in place to ensure that passengers requiring assistance are not excluded. It is difficult to see how trains with no staff to provide assistance running through unstaffed stations cannot come under the heading of a “provision, criterion or practice” that discriminates as defined by section 20 of the Equality

Act 2010.

Every passenger needs the assurance that the journey will be fully accessible and that the experience will be safe and secure, with trained assistance available, if and when it is needed.”

Support Disabled People’s Right to Ride!

1537f6ab-d6c5-45d6-8271-fb704371d8faOn this Thursday 20th July TSSA and DPAC members and supporters will be travelling together en masse to the Department for Transport’s headquarters in London to deliver a petition demanding the right to ride. This is a part of DPAC’s week of action – to coincide with the holding of the para-athletics championships in London.

Assemble outside the Department for Transport at 2pm.
Department for Transport Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London W1P 4DR

Report on Transport Access Issues from SERTUC Disabled Workers Network

tuc_logoReport on Transport Access Issues from SERTUC Disabled Workers Network for 1 Dec 2016 SERTUC Transport Industries Network (To be taken forward as ongoing for future meetings)

Ticket Office Closures
The closure of ticket offices restricts access to tube travel and mainline rail travel for disabled people. Those who are partially sighted and have learning difficulties. Have great difficulty or are unable to use automatic ticket machines.
Cuts in Outer urban and rural bus routes
Cuts in outer urban and rural bus routes both in terms of the areas that they cover and their frequency. This restricts the ability of disabled people to get around and lead an active life. Also of course not only impact on disabled people. Also families and individuals that don’t own or have access to a car. Also people that give up driving due to ill health and old age.

No lift access to stations
On tube and mainline so many stations don’t have lift access. Meaning that the disabled and the infirm are unable to use these stations. On the tube it also restricts access to those who have a fear of escalators.
Unstaffed stations
There is no assistance for people who need help to get on trains. Especially at stations where there is a wide platform gap.
Large Platform gaps
These restrict the access to disabled people on the tube and more so on mainline trains. Clapham junction is an instance. Also Wembley on tube I believe were a low height tube train uses a high level mainline platform.
Unstaffed Stations
When stations are unstaffed they do feel unsafe. Not only concern for disabled people. Also for women travelling later at night. Or of course anyone with a fear and concern about using an unstaffed station.

Unclear station announcements for partially sighted people
Partially sighted people can often find that station announcements are unclear. There is limited staff on a station for them to go to for help on which train and platform that they need.
The need to book in advance if you need assistance to travel
The need to book in advance if you need assistance to travel. Is a restriction and limitation on the access for disabled people to mainline rail especially. You are not able to suddenly decide you would like to make a journey.
Automatic Rottweiler barriers
The narrow automatic Rottweiler barriers are a restriction to travel for disabled people. There are very few wide gates on most tube and mainline stations. For mainline stations Kings Cross is a prime example of this. It was rebuilt with a sea of automatic Rottweiler barriers.

Bus routes using legislation to use buses with no disabled access
There is legislation that as I understand it. Allows bus companies to continue using buses with no disabled access. To extend the life of older buses to reduce operating costs. As well as probably franchising costs for councils. Giving them a cheaper franchise cost on marginal bus routes.
Maritime Transport
Not overlooked at all here. Respect that the SERTUC Transport Industries Network and NAUTILUS do take forward any issues and concerns about maritime transport. That are raised by the SERTUC Disabled workers Network.

Capita have cancelled Freedom Passes for adults with disabilities

Barnet Councils private contractors Capita have cancelled Freedom Passes for adults with mental health issues and other disabilities like autism without giving any notice. 
 
This has meant that many people have found out for the first time that their Pass has been cancelled while trying to use public transport. Others have had their Pass cancelled as a result of a reassessment, despite there being no change in their condition.
 
This is despicable and unacceptable.
 
And possibly illegal.
 
And
For further information on how Capita, on behalf of Barnet Council, are making the lives of disabled residents intolerable.
Barnet Labour have started a petition for immediate reinstatement of the disabled Freedom pass to these residents.
 
I urge you to please sign this petition and share throughout your networks.
We must stand against this treatment of disabled residents.