Disability Legislation and Recommendations
The Department of Transport, Environment and the Regions (DETR) is committed to achieving, wherever possible, a fully accessible transport system within a barrier-free environment promoting personal mobility.
Legal changes are now coming forward to enable these goals to be achieved.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
The Disability Discrimination Act, which was passed on the 8th November 1995, imposes a range of new duties on employers and service providers to ensure that they do not discriminate against disabled people.
The Disability Discrimination Act introduces, over a period of time, new laws and measures aimed at ending the discrimination that many people face.
The Act gives disabled people new rights in the areas of:
Access to goods and services
Buying or renting land or property
Further aspects of the Act require schools, colleges and universities to provide information for disabled people.
The National Disability Council was established as part of the legislation to advise the Government on discrimination against disabled people.
In addition the Act allows the Government to set minimum standards so that disabled people can use public transport easily.
The Act covers accessibility to taxis, trams, trains and buses.
For example, the Act enables legislation to be made to require all new taxis and buses to be accessible to disabled people, including those who need to travel in a wheelchair and to set a timescale when all such vehicles will be wheelchair accessible.
The regulations on trains and buses are intended to meet the needs of a range of people with disabilities, including wheelchair users and those for whom steep steps and high floors are a problem.
Because of the complexity of technical requirements and vehicle design it will take many years before all public transport is fully accessible.
However, it is hoped that each phase will lead to higher standards of provision for a large group of people.
For more information visit dft.gov.uk