A report by Whizz-Kidz, a national charity for disabled children and young people, found that 70 per cent of wheelchair users and their families and carers cannot travel as independently as they would like to, while two in three do not feel confident enough to use public transport.
In the wake of its ‘Get on Board’ report the charity is campaigning for improvements to infrastructure, information and facilities, better awareness, more staff training, and involvement of young disabled people in planning services and policies.
Mr Loughton said: “While access to transport has improved a great deal over the last 20 years, inaccessible transport is still preventing many young wheelchair users from living full lives.
“That’s why I’m supporting Whizz-Kidz’s campaign – because I believe wheelchair users should be able to travel with the same freedom and independence as everyone else.
“I’m calling on local travel and transport providers and my constituents to ‘Get on Board’ and think about the changes they can make to help achieve this.”
Whizz-Kidz recently formed a national Accessible Travel Alliance – an industry group made up of travel operators, which aims to make a difference to disabled people’s experience of travel. Gatwick, Heathrow, National Express, OmniServ, Stagecoach and Transport for London have all signed up to the Get on Board campaign.
George Fielding, chair of the Whizz-Kidz board, said: “We are delighted that Tim Loughton was able to join us this week to hear about our experiences of transport and our recommendations for improving things.
“We simply would not be able to transform the lives of young wheelchair users without the support of MPs such as Tim Loughton. Together, we can make a real difference.”
The Get on Board report includes survey results from 128 wheelchair users and their families between June and September 2015 and looked at independent travel, trains, buses, taxis, planes, underground, metro, tram and light rail.
Source: Worthing Herald