On 15 February 2011, disabled people across Europe won new rights to travel on buses and coaches. Following a strong campaign from Sight Support Derbyshire supported by hundreds of supporters, disabled people will now be entitled to the following:
- Accessible travel information both before and during the journey.
- Bus operators will have to organise mandatory disability awareness training for all drivers.
In addition, there will be a right to compensation for damaged wheelchairs or other assistive equipment and information about passenger rights will become available in terminals and online.
Fighting further delays
The new rights should come into force in 2013 and will apply to all journeys, including local bus services. However, member States can postpone the obligations for another five years. If our Government decides to delay the implentation, we could be waiting years before bus operators are obliged to organise driver disability awareness training and accessible information for travellers.
The Department of Transport will be opening a consultation on the implementation of the EU regulation at the end of 2011 and into early 2012. If the Government is heavily lobbied by the transport industry, we could see the 5 year delay put in place, so we will need to make sure our voice is just as strong.
Register your interest
As soon as the consultation opens we'll put more information up here. In the meantime, if you'd like to register your interst in taking part in this campaign, drop us an email at email@example.com with your name and postcode in it and we'll keep you up to date with any developments.