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Meeting the needs of older and disabled travellers

A Factfile provided by the IET and Intelligent Transport Systems (UK)

Improvements to physical infrastructure and service provision have undoubtedly enhanced public transport accessibility and thus mobility in recent years. However, it is the rapid growth of new technologies that must now be embraced in order to facilitate fully independent travel for older and disabled people.

This report, published by IET and ITS UK, highlights the role technology plays in transport and how large sections of society that could benefit most are missing out. Making the best use of technology for enhancing transport accessibility is a challenge, but one that if met, offers enormous scope to improve mobility, health, and well being, not only for disabled and older people, but for all members of society.

Although smart phone technology is clearly successful from a commercial perspective, unknowns still exist in terms of the extent to which phones and integrated software can offer a useful means to empower the disabled and elderly to make an independent trip. Over 80 per cent of over 60s would not use journey planning websites, apps or text messages that can give them valuable travel information that can significantly improve their journey.

The report introduces new technology that can help the elderly and disabled and calls for more stakeholder engagement that can then enable a joined up approach to inclusive mobility that places the user’s needs at the heart of the mobility plan.