Public transport for people with disabilities Part 2

In the previous section of this blog, I spoke about the current public transport options available for people in the local area- specifically in relation to how disability friendly these options are.

Just this morning, I experienced one of the problems that can make using public transport difficult for people living with disability.   My bus to work was delayed by 20 minutes due to an accident, and this is the only bus I could catch while able to use my bus pass free or charge- at the time of 9:45. The earlier bus is 9:10 and would therefore come at a charge. This affects most bus passes, including those for individuals over the age of 65.  They would also have to pay to use their bus pass if they wished to travel before 9:45 in the morning.  Those who are retired may have more flexibility in terms of travel times than working aged and removing the charge to travel would be a huge help to people like me, enabling me to extend my work options, especially if, like me, you like to ensure you allow for all eventualities and arrive for work in plenty of time.

One thing I would love to see as a potential solution is a survey done throughout the local community to measure the routes for the buses to take and how much these are used.  Asking those who commute by bus about their circumstances and revising schedules based on use,  I believe would help working people, especially those with disabilities, to get to places on time. I think the reasonable thing would be to have buses on the hour and half past the hour, as this would overall reduce stress of the thought of being late and giving people a simpler structure to carry out in their daily lives.

Another way I think public transport should be improved throughout the country is to introduce more services that travel throughout the Midlands but a service that doesn’t mean that you’d have to change to a different bus or train to get to the desired destination. There are specific places throughout the Midlands that I would like to travel to. However, there currently aren’t methods of transport available where I could get there in one journey.

Whilst the government has its plan in place to “level up”, I believe that the subject of transport has to be looked into in much more detail. There are both the working and the social aspects to be taken into account. There are more opportunities for leisure activities available in cities and if there is a change to someone’s working environment, there has to be a plan B so that people with disabilities don’t go forgotten about.

At the moment, I am very much still in the frame of mind that I don’t feel more confident about travelling independently, and therefore are still very reliant on my parents to take me to places either for work or leisure activities. This is one of the main points made by the government that they would address this, so I truly hope that there is a much wider discussion about bringing this into reality. Whilst Covid-19 has had its impact that can’t be denied, we are now being told we are “getting out of the woods” with regards to this and I feel like the planning has to be done of how to better the landscape of transport to increase the level of independence amongst the community of disabled people. Communication with the user is the key. Fortunately I have connected with someone about this and hope to have an influence on things moving forward!

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