Accessibility of public transport (1)

Meeting: 
MQT on 2015-11-18
Session date: 
November 18, 2015
Reference: 
2015/3588
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

Although good work has been done on improving the accessibility of buses for disabled passengers, there is still much room for improvement. Examples include improving the quality of ramps for wheelchair users, installing hearing loops, better training for drivers about passengers with hidden disabilities and more space/better designs to improve space for wheelchairs and reduce conflict with buggies.

Will you commit to reviewing bus accessibility and include new requirements when renewing bus contracts?

Answer

Answer for Accessibility of public transport (1)

Answer for Accessibility of public transport (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

TfL constantly strives to improve the accessibility of all aspects of the bus network.

All buses in the fleet became low-floor, wheelchair-accessible, at the end of 2005 - well ahead of legislative requirements - with the exception of classic Routemasters which were exempt.

TfL changed its standards 18 months ago to increase the size of the wheelchair space across the bus network for all buses entering the bus fleet.  Additionally, TfL regularly reviews bus specifications and looks at the general layout, including the positioning of poles and bell pushes, to see how space can be used more effectively to improve manoeuvrability for wheelchair users. As newer buses replace older vehicles in the fleet, more accessible ramps are also being introduced. All newer vehicles additionally have induction loops fitted so hearing- impaired passengers can pick up announcements.

The proportion of London bus stops that meet rigorous accessibility standards is now at 84 per cent and is on target to rise to 95 per cent by the end of 2016.

TfL is also providing two additional days of training for all bus drivers from 2016 as part of its desire to deliver an ideal customer experience. On top of previous training initiatives, this will include a strong focus on accessibility awareness.

TfL works closely with key stakeholders to develop training content and review the accessibility of the network to track progress.