Call for better access to travel for disabled people

Call for better access to travel for disabled people

The travel industry must do more to improve accessibility to disabled people, a study shows.

New research reveals that 86% of people with disabilities think the UK travel industry is still not providing sufficient information about disabled access and facilities.

It also shows that 87% of respondents have been prevented from travelling because of their disability.

A further 77% consider disabled access to be ‘very important’ when planning where to go on holiday.

The survey, carried out by Adapted Vehicle Hire and charity Tourism For All UK, identified London as the part of UK with the best disabled access and facilities.

But despite improvements made in the run up to the Paralympics, the Underground was singled out for criticism.

Airports and train stations also fared badly in the survey with respondents claiming more needed to be done to make them accessible for all.

However, more than 92% of people think that disabled access had improved overall in the past decade. 28% say access is ‘significantly better’.

Cornwall and Devon are identified as the most popular holiday destinations, followed closely by Spain and France.

Several venues across the UK are praised for their ease of access and suitability for disabled visitors including National Trust properties and the Eden Project in Cornwall.

Adapted Vehicle Hire managing director Lorraine Farnon said: “The results of this survey clearly demonstrate that despite gradual progress, more needs to be done to make the travel industry more accessible for disabled people.

“Following the outstanding success of the Paralympics which has brought disability issues increasingly into the mainstream, there is now an opportunity to make real improvements to access and facilities across the UK.”

Tourism For All UK information officer Carrie-Ann Lightley said: “Tourism For All has been campaigning for the past 30 years to improve the range of travel options and facilities for disabled people.

“Our view is that tourism is important to everyone and we support the government's aim of making UK tourism the most accessible in Europe.

“We are heartened that most people feel that access and facilities have improved in the past ten years, but the survey also revealed there are big variations across the UK.

“Access to some rural and historic sites will always present more of a challenge for disabled visitors, but places like airports have scope for significant improvement to better meet the needs of disabled travellers.”


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