To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure the transport system is safe and accessible to disabled passengers as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted.
1 September 2020
The Government remains as committed to delivering inclusive transport for all passengers as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. Transport operators should continue to assist disabled passengers where appropriate. I made this clear in my open letter to the rail industry on 8 April 2020.
On 9 May the Department published statutory guidance to local authorities on reallocating road space which makes clear that local authorities must consider the needs of disabled people and those with other protected characteristics when making changes to their transport networks. Public-Sector Equality Duty requirements apply to temporary measures in the same way as they do to permanent ones.
I am also meeting regularly with key disability stakeholders, to hear directly from them about the experiences of disabled people using public transport. This means we will be able to take action quickly if we find that passengers are not receiving the assistance to which they are entitled.
The Government has launched an active communications campaign which advises people about exemptions to the face coverings rules for disability and health reasons. The publication reminds people that not all disabilities are visible and includes a non-compulsory exemption card should people want to use it.