Coventry Disability Transport Charter
Steps have been taken to make public transport more accessible in Coventry in the West Midlands over the coming months after it launched a new Transport Charter aimed at improving and aiding the experience of people with disabilities using public transport in the city.

Coventry City Council put together the Charter after setting up the Disability Equality Action Partnership (DEAP), which consists of the Council, disability organisations, universities, schools and colleges, and individuals with disabilities.

The aim of the project is for regional partners and transport operators to acknowledge how they currently support disabled people of all ages with both visible and non-visible disabilities, and how they can assist even further to improve access, freedom and inclusion to the public transport service.

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The Transport Charter outlines commitments including: promoting the public transport system as fully inclusive for people of all abilities; ensuring better implementation of priority seating policies; advertising more widely the availability of permit provision for scooters on public transport; supporting the expansion in electric bus capacity and allocation to more bus routes in polluted areas of the city; and continuing a dialogue with train companies to improve accessibility for wheelchair passengers.

Until its official introduction in the city later this year, the Charter is currently with disability forums for feedback before being officially launched later this year.

While it is not a compulsory measure for providers to comply with the charter, DEAP hopes that many will recognise that their actions are advantageous to their business in enabling more residents with disabilities to use public transport with confidence.

The Transport Charter launch comes just as Coventry gears up for its year-long programme of activities showcasing its transport and technology innovations from May 2021 after being named the UK’s City of Culture from May 2021.

Chair of the Disability Equality Action Partnership (DEAP) and Transport Charter lead, Councillor Christine Thomas said: “This builds on the success of the Shoppers Charter back in 2019 in making our city a disability friendly place.

“It also goes towards forming part of the Wellbeing for Life ethos and City of Culture 2021.

“It is important that transport operators, regional partners and local people understand the value of the ‘purple pound’, and equally important that disabled persons feel included in the planning of our city.

“By working together we can deliver a fully accessible public transport service that people with disabilities and additional requirements can use with confidence.”

Coventry City Council leader, Councillor George Duggins added: “Peoples with disabilities have been among those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are committed as a council to ensure that the quality of life for these members of our community improves.

“Part of this commitment is working to break down and remove existing barriers and obstacles that many people with disabilities continue to face such as using public transport.

I fully support the work of the Disability Equality Action Partnership in making our city a more inclusive place to live and I we welcome all feedback during the consultation period to make this Charter the best it can be.”

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