Harrogate charity's delight at new plans to make public transport better and safer for disabled people
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The bosses of Northern Rail, Transdev Harrogate, LNER, Leeds Bradford Airport and Integrated Passenger Transport at North Yorkshire Council are to attend a meeting in Harrogate next month after Disability Action Yorkshire asked them to explain how they intended to improve the travelling experience for people with disabilities in Yorkshire and beyond.
The Harrogate-based charity's Chief Executive Officer, Jackie Snape said: “The experience of disabled people travelling on public transport is an ongoing issue for Disability Action Yorkshire and one that we focus on in a lot of our activities across the region.
“After hearing the responses from Northern Trains, Transdev Harrogate, LNER and Leeds Bradford Airport, I felt that a roundtable discussion on travelling when disabled people could hear and be heard was much needed and I am delighted that the four transport companies have agreed to take part.”
The issue of travel was first raised at recent Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce meeting focused on improving accessibility on public transport when the following plans were revealed:
Leeds Bradford Airport: Increased staffing, new specialist accessible vehicles, call points in car parks and more lifts for easier access.
Northern Trains: It will continue to enhance accessibility in its rail station investment plans, improving digital information, making signage clearer and working with user accessibility groups.
Transdev Harrogate: Operating buses in the Harrogate area, it says that new vehicles would be equipped with designated spaces for wheelchairs and trolleys, hearing device connections would be enhanced, a new app introduced tailored to individual needs and that the Transdev depot was now fully accessible for employees and visitors alike.
LNER: The mainline rail operator is introducing a new passenger assist app, creating assistance lounges for disabled people, testing and investing in audio, signage and screens and encouraging staff cross-training to assist disabled passengers and fostering a people-first approach.
The transport meeting in Harrogate on February 9 will be chaired by Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough.