National Baseline Results, May 2017 

Disability Equality Scotland developed a national survey around the key outcomes in Going Further to gather a picture of disabled peoples’ views on specific aspects of public transport.  The aim was that this would be a baseline survey against which to track progress in line with the lifetime of the Accessible Travel Framework. 

The survey received 200 responses from disabled passengers.  In addition, 44 transport providers gave their views on accessible travel.   

Some key findings from this research included: 

  • The importance of access to public transport was clear, with 72% of disabled travellers said that they relied on public transport to help maintain some independence.  
  • The most common form of transport used by disabled people was the bus (63%) followed by the train (50%).   
  • Over a quarter of respondents (28%, 52 respondents) said they did not use private taxis as a regular mode of transport because they were not wheelchair accessible.  
  • The most common types of journeys were for medical appointments (53%, 99 respondents) 
  • However, disabled people did experience difficulties when travelling on public transport, including the frequency of the services, the infrastructure between home and stop or station and difficulties physically accessing the transport.  
  • The biggest barrier when travelling on public transport was the accessibility of the mode of transport (49%, 84 respondents) 
  • Overall, 40% of disabled passengers said they were satisfied with the accessibility of public transport provision in their area.  This contrasted with transport providers who were overall very satisfied their service met the needs of disabled travellers. 
  • We asked whether there had been any improvements in transport services in the previous six months; 17% said they had noticed improvements; some relating to the attitude of staff, or the introduction of accessibility features like audio announcements. 
  • We asked disabled passengers and transport providers how disabled people could best be involved in the design and development of accessible travel.  Disabled people suggested one way for transport providers to understand their needs was to accompany them on a journey, and providers had also made this suggestion in their survey responses.   
  • Overall, disabled people just wanted the chance for genuine discussion and consultation with transport providers about their needs and experiences of travelling on the existing services.