A leading not-for-profit business and disability organisation is calling on the London Mayor to make public transport more accessible for disabled people, following the announcement that there will be a car-free day across London on 22 September to raise awareness of the air pollution crisis.
Angela Matthews, Head of Policy and Research, at Business Disability Forum, said:
“While Business Disability Forum agrees that air pollution is an urgent issue, we would ask the capital to consider how a car-free day to promote “walking, cycling, and use of public transport” would affect disabled people.
“Many disabled people are reliant on their own adapted vehicles, cars driven by a carer, or taxis, to get about in London because current public transport is not accessible to people with a range of disabilities. For these people using cars is a necessity not a choice.
“Disabled people care about the environment as much as anyone else. We would question whether disabled people were considered in the design of this campaign and what plans there are to ensure they everyone can take part on 22nd September.”
Sadiq Khan’s announcement comes amid heightened campaigning around the inaccessibility of public transport across the UK, the implementation of the Government Inclusive Transport Strategy, and reviewed guidance on the Blue Badge parking scheme in recognition that car transport is a necessity for many disabled people because public transport and crowded, inaccessible pavements fail them.
Business Disability Forum is currently conducting its own research on the accessibility of public transport.