In the UK there are 11 million people who have disabilities. With so many requiring accessible travel, it’s crucial that transport is available for everyone.
Thanks to forward-thinking tech and adaptable vehicles, there is an array of mobility solutions designed to assist those who want to get to where they need to be with ease. If you’re looking for some solutions to make your journey smoother, here are some ideas.
For those planning transport for those who transport groups, such as schools, colleges or healthcare providers, the FlexiLite is a lightweight minibus that offers space for up to 17 people, plus four wheelchairs. Available from Allied Fleet, this is an innovative travel option made from lightweight materials and offering a range of accessibility features, such as folding ramps and passenger lifts.
In addition, it can be driven on a car licence. This means that there are more people who can drive the vehicle without having to go through D1 category licence training.
One of the newest apps to be introduced to help disabled travellers is Passenger Assist. This has been introduced to help train travel more accessible. It does this by helping users to book and make amends to assistance requirements for disabled passengers.
The app is currently being trialled and is due to be rolled out in autumn 2019, however it already has plenty of positives in its favour, including its real-time usability. As it is up-to-date, it avoids the issues caused by telephone and online bookings, meaning bookings are transparent and straightforward.
Another app that is helping disabled travellers is Be My Eyes. This is a free app that connects blind and visually impaired people to 1.2 million sighted volunteers and companies. This is done through a video call. Once connected, the live call is then used to help blind travellers get through busy airports and navigate train platforms safely.
In addition, there is Aira, a subscription-based service for visually impaired people. This uses either a smartphone app or glasses fitted with a camera to live stream the disabled user’s progress to an Aria agent. These agents help the user move around the area they are in.
As well as tools designed to help as users are using transport, there are also websites available to help disabled travellers make transport plans. Accessible – formerly known as DisabledGo – is a site that explains the level of access available at venues and locations across the UK.
By knowing the place you’re heading to, users can arrange transport that allows easy access to the destination, as well as helping to alleviate any anxiety about what to expect when you get there.