A recent press release by the UK Government which was posted on our Facebook Page and titled “New partnership with Muscular Dystrophy UK to improve journeys for disabled road users” raised quite a few questions.
Simply put, would any of this money actually be coming to Scotland? It was plain that Muscular Dystrophy UK was only to be involved with English Motorway Service stations simply because England has an awful lot more motorways and a much larger population.
The Press release also stated :
£300 million to make railway stations more accessible through Access for All
£2 million for audio and visual equipment on buses, so that passengers on almost every bus will know where and when to alight
a £2 million passenger awareness campaign to increase disability awareness and reduce hate crime on our network
an accreditation scheme for transport operators to receive formal recognition for positive work to improve disabled passengers’ experiences, such as training frontline staff and senior management on disability awareness
measures to ensure future technology is designed inclusively from the outset, with opportunities sought to harness innovation
I decided to make enquiries of Transport Scotland to see if any of this money or initiatives would be deployed in Scotland.
I received the following reply.
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said:
“As bus regulation is a reserved matter, Scottish bus companies will have access to the £2 million for audio and visual equipment on buses and a similar approach is taken in relation to the £300 million to make railway stations more accessible through Access for All.
“The Scottish Government provides a range of support to improve Accessible Travel. Most recently, over £274,000 was announced this month to fund projects which support the Accessible Travel Framework for Scotland, encouraging active and accessible travel solutions at a local level.
“The new fund provides support to projects which enable the central vision outlined in the Accessible Travel Framework – that all disabled people can travel with the same freedom, choice, dignity and opportunity as other citizens, with a particular focus in encouraging more sustainable active travel options.”
The Accessible Travel Framework applies to the Greater Central belt, and the North –East and Highlands appear not to have gained any funds, though it is not known if The Highlands or North –East actually applied.