28 July 2021
RMT Press Office:
RMT statement on the Government’s new public transport accessibility measures.
Commenting on the announcement of new public transport accessibility measures as part of the Government’s new National Disability Strategy, RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“It is absolutely vital that the UK’s public transport networks are fully accessible for disabled passengers. Currently disabled people make fewer trips by public transport and are less likely to find it easy to access public transport than non-disabled people. It is therefore clear that urgent Government action is needed to make all forms of public transport truly accessible, yet it is actively pursuing policies across that will only make public transport less accessible for disabled passengers.
“On the railway, ticket offices, station and on-train staffing are increasingly under threat as the Government pursues a cost-cutting agenda. Already, vast swathes of the rail network are unstaffed, with no guarantee for disabled passengers that there will be staff at the station and on-train to assist them. The Department’s own research tells us that the answer to this is more staff, not less.
“The Government’s National Bus Strategy has failed to address the failures of bus privatisation and deregulation, and as a recent report by the former UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston found, disabled people are one of the groups particularly affected by poor bus services.
“Cuts to staffing, ticket offices and services across our public transport networks will only serve to make rail and bus networks less accessible and less safe for disabled passengers. If we’re going to build back better after the pandemic so that disabled passengers feel safe to travel and public transport is truly accessible, we need to stop the profit-driven cost-cutting and make sure that our public transport networks are fully staffed and services are protected.”