Figures uncovered by Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson show that 1 in 4 buses operating in the north east do not meet the needs of disabled passengers.
Figures from a Parliamentary Question highlight that 1 in 4 buses operating in the north east have not been issued with a Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) certificate. Each certificate ensures that a vehicle meets a minimum acceptable needs for disabled passengers. Bus operators have until 2016 to ensure all single-decker buses comply with these regulations and 2017 for double decker buses.
The previous Labour government introduced PSVAR regulations in 2000 as the first step in improving opportunities for the independent mobility of disabled passengers using buses and coaches. A report by the disability charity the Papworth Trust estimated that 34 per cent of people in the north east have a disability and that 23 per cent of people in Tyne and Wear have a limiting long term illness.
Bridget Phillipson MP said:
“It’s disappointing that bus operators in the north east are not leading the way in supporting the needs of disabled passengers.
“Access to public transport should be universal, but too often constituents tell me that services do not meet their expectations.
“I want to see the bus companies stepping up their responsibilities and improving the support they offer passengers with mobility issues.”