Neil Coyle – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Neil Coyle on 2016-05-23.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to make public transport more accessible for people with guide dogs.

Andrew Jones

The Department is committed to building transport networks which work for everyone, including ensuring that disabled people have the same opportunities to travel as other members of society.

From the 1st January this year all single deck buses designed to carry over twenty two passengers on local and scheduled routes have had to comply with the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR), which require vehicles to include contrasting handrails, priority seating and other features of benefit to visually impaired people. At least one priority seat on each bus must have sufficient space to accommodate an assistance dog with its owner. Double deck buses must comply with PSVAR by the 1st January 2017.

Positive interactions with staff can also give visually impaired people the confidence to use bus services. We are working with Mott MacDonald to review disability awareness training from across the transport sector, and to produce best practice guidance by the end of 2016, to help equip bus drivers with the skills and knowledge they need to provide disabled passengers with a first class service.