Motorway

Disabled people using England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads are now safer and better informed thanks to steps taken by Highways England.

Independent watchdog Transport Focus asked disabled road users – drivers and their passengers – how they felt about travelling by road, with Highways England listening to their feedback.

Improvements include advice on what to do should your vehicle break down and a review of the facilities across all 114 motorway service areas, to make sure they are as user-friendly as possible for disabled people.

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The review covered the general layout of services, as well as fuel stations, electric vehicle charging points and disabled parking bays.

Anthony Smith, Transport Focus chief executive, said: “Historically, there hasn’t been enough focus on the needs of disabled road users.  Credit to Highways England for using Transport Focus’s recommendations and taking concrete steps to address the issues to make the roads and services on them more accessible to all.

“We will continue to work closely with Highways England in helping to drive even more progress for disabled road users.”

Mel Clarke, Highways England customer service director and chair of the Roads for All Forum, said: “We’re committed to ensuring our disabled customers can travel safely on our roads. We’re making good progress to ensure our roads and services are more accessible and inclusive, and there’s lots more to do.

“We’ll keep on listening to the experiences of our diverse customers, what their needs and expectations are, as these change and evolve. And we’ll respond by working collaboratively with them to find the right solutions.”

With around one in five people in the UK identifying as disabled and around three per cent of all UK licensed vehicles falling within the disabled tax class, the car remains the most popular means of transport among disabled people.

Funding have already been extended to ensure motorway service stations have Changing Places facilities for the benefit of the quarter of a million people who cannot use standard accessible toilets.

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