Transport access for all 2008: The Sectoral Plan for Accessible Transport under the Disability Act 2005
Transport Access for All, the UK Department of Transport’s Sectoral Plan under the Disability Act 2005 was published in July 2006 and contained a commitment that it would be reviewed every two years.
The reviews are intended to assess progress made and to take account of technical advances and other developments that might impact on the delivery of accessible public transport in Ireland. This edition is the result of the first review which was undertaken in 2008 in line with that commitment. It follows an extensive consultation process involving a wide range of stakeholders including the public, representative disability organisations and transport providers.
This revised Sectoral Plan reflects the changes that have taken place in accessible transport provision over the past two years, in terms of tangible improvements to public transport accessibility. Set within the policy and objectives originally outlined in the 2006 Sectoral Plan, the 2008 Plan seeks to reinforce the concept of ‘Transport for All’ through a focus on accessibility measures as well as on enhancing performance in achieving the Plan’s targets for the delivery of comprehensive accessible public transport services by 2015.
To align review periods with those of other Sectoral Plans, Transport Access for All will next be reviewed in 2011 and every three years thereafter.
Purpose of Sectoral Plan Reviews
Transport Access for All contains a commitment to Review the Plan every two years. The purpose of such reviews is to take account of progress to date with the Plan, changes in needs for accessible transport, technology, economic and financial circumstances and to revise the Plan accordingly.
The 2008 Review The Department seeks to work closely with the Public Transport Access Committee1 (PTAC) to improve the accessibility of public transport for people with disabilities. Recognising the important role of the Committee in carrying out the review, the Department discussed and agreed with it in early 2008 the process for the review. The meeting was facilitated by an external expert in public transport accessibility with a view to ensuring a sufficiently comprehensive review.
The focus of the 2008 Review was to reassess the 2006 edition, to evaluate progress to date, to revisit the targets and actions in the Plan with a view to setting appropriate interim targets and timelines and to consider what new elements might be incorporated in a revised edition.
Introducing more meaningful performance management and progress monitoring/reporting and strengthening working arrangements in cases of cross-boundary responsibility for particular accessibility improvements were also seen as significant elements of the review.
The common themes and issues emerging from the public consultation process were incorporated into the revised Plan and a further internal consultation was provided for within the Department of Transport, with transport providers, as well as with PTAC, to establish an agreed framework for future implementation of the targets and actions contained in the revised Plan.