Accessibility for People with Reduced Mobility
Works undertaken by the Group
Established in February 1985, the Working Group on Access and Inclusion played an
important role in bringing together Governments and experts from ECMT Member and
Associate Member Countries to exchange ideas on transport for people with reduced
mobility and the ageing population. This Group produced many reports and
recommendations which provide guidance on achieving barrier-free travel, among
them the Charter on access to transport
services and infrastructure. Political support for this work was given through
the adoption of several formal resolutions by the Council of Ministers.
- Achieve greater understanding and recognition of the
transport and mobility needs of disabled and older people as
an integral part of transport policy and planning across the
- Identify key social, structural, operational and financial
issues affecting the mobility of disabled and older people as
well as individuals facing temporary mobility difficulties
(use of public and special transport, private vehicle use,
pedestrian activity) and exchange experience and promote
best practice in these areas.
Of key importance to the Group was the need to bring accessibility issues into
the mainstream of transport policy considerations, no longer treating them in the
margins of policy development as additional or secondary conditions.
With the decision of Ministers at their 2006 Dublin Council
to transform the ECMT into an
International Forum, the Access and Inclusion Group held its final
official meeting in September 2006 in Vienna. The Group remains
a network of experts who will be consulted when the work of the
International Transport Forum requires input on accessibility issues.
A number of major reports and studies undertaken in the Group were
finalised in 2006 or are to be published in 2007-2008:
- Updated Guide to Good Practice on Travel for
Disabled and Older People
An update of the ECMT 1999 publication "Improving Transport
for People with Mobility Handicaps: A Guide to Good Practice"
was presented to ECMT Ministers at their Dublin Council in
May 2006 and is now available as a
also available in
Areas covered in the Guide include access to travel
information, the road and pedestrian environment,
transport infrastructure, vehicles, new/innovative
transport services, and the role of Government.
- Improving Access to Taxis
A major study was carried out in 2005-2006 in co-operation with
the International Road Transport Union (IRU) on "Improving Access to Taxis".
This work follows up the joint report published by the ECMT and
IRU in 2001 on
Economic Aspects of Taxi Accessibility.
published in March 2007, is the fruit of extensive consultation with European-based
motor vehicle manufacturers and conversion specialists, disabled people,
representatives of the European taxi trade and national governments. It starts with
the needs of disabled users, and then takes account of what would be feasible for
vehicle manufacturers and what would be acceptable to the taxi trade. The
recommendations provide practical guidance, which if adopted by governments, vehicle
manufacturers and operators, will be of considerable benefit to the more than 45 million
disabled people who live in Europe. Press Release and Summary Document.
- Cognitive Impairment, Mental Health Problems and Transport
For the first time, ECMT has undertaken an examination of
cognitive impairment, mental health problems and transport.
The study explores the transport experience of individuals with
cognitive impairment and mental health problems and what
transport policy makers, operators and authorities can do to
address the needs of individuals with these disabilities and
problems. The report
was published in 2009.
- Transport Accessibility for All: A Guide to Good
2006 saw the publication of the latest compilation of good
practice for transport accessibility, prepared by the ECMT.
The Guide updates the 1999 Guide to Good Practice on Improving
Transport for People with Mobility Handicaps with examples
from recent experience in a wide range of countries, pointing
to areas where progress has been made as well as to those where
- Improving Access to Public Transport: Guidelines for Transport Personnel
The ECMT-UITP Joint Report on Improving
Access to Public Transport published in 2004 identified training of
transport personnel as an important factor in ensuring full accessibility of the
public transport system.
Together again with the UITP, a set of
interacting with disabled users of the transport system was published in 2006 and presented
to Ministers at their Dublin Council.
The Guidelines are designed to encourage understanding of the specific problems
experienced by disabled and older passengers when using the transport system, and to provide
guidance on how best to respond to their needs. They provide a practical approach to providing
good customer care - a priority for all transport companies.
A Report on
"Implementation at the National Level of Measures to
Improve Accessibility" was submitted to Ministers at their Council
in Ljubljana. The report highlights best practice in national-level
initiatives to implement accessibility improvements in the transport
system as well as efforts to encourage effective implementation of
measures in local and regional areas. It also identifies and assesses
barriers to implementation -- such as those of an institutional,
financial or policy nature; and proposes ways in which these
implementation barriers can be overcome -- more specifically,
what national governments can do to facilitate accessibility
In the context of the 2003 European Year for Persons with Disabilities,
the ECMT and the European Disability Forum organised the ECMT-EDF
Access and Inclusion Award for Transport Services and Infrastructure.
The award was designed to recognise examples of good practice in
improving accessibility to transport, reward approaches in the field
which are inclusive of all people with disabilities and recognise the
importance of consulting with representative disability organisations.
Report of the Jury.
Out of a pool of 60 candidate dossiers, the prize was attributed
Runner-up was: Helsinki
Kaupungin Liikennelaitos (HKL) (Finland).
Also in the context of the 2003 European Year, the ECMT and the French
Ministère de l'Equipement organised a conference on "Transport and
Accessibility: Taking the Challenge Further", which featured debate on
three principal themes: the accessibility chain, door-to-door services,
and the need for dialogue with all stakeholders. At the conference, a
National Accessibility Charter for France was signed.
A joint task force was established with the International Public
Transport Union (UITP) to examine how to improve accessibility to
public transport via (among others) stronger links and better
co-ordination between public transport operators and local
authorities. The findings from the joint task force entitled
"Improving Access to Public Transport" were submitted to and
approved by Ministers at their Council in 2003 and was
published in 2004.
Conclusions and Recommendations.
At their Council in Lisbon, Ministers of Transport adopted
Resolution on Accessible Transport and
agreed the Conclusions and Recommendations of a comprehensive
body of work on Transport and Ageing of the Population.
Other work undertaken includes:
- Transport and the Ageing of the Population
It is well known that populations are ageing in most countries. At their 2001 Council
in Lisbon, Ministers of Transport agreed the
Recommendations of the comprehensive Report on Transport and Ageing of the
Population. Work on this topic was then taken forward by the Group on
Access and Inclusion in collaboration with the ECMT Road Safety Group.
Earlier work of the ECMT in this area includes and ECMT Round
Table on Transport and Ageing of the Population held in 1998.
The OECD also published a report in 2001 entitled "Ageing and
Transport: Mobility Needs and Safety Issues".
- Reciprocal Recognition of Disabled Parking Badges
ECMT Resolution 97/4
provides recommendations for reciprocal
recognition of parking concessions across the Member countries
of ECMT as well as the Associate members. It is important to
ensure however the application of the reciprocal arrangements
between Member states. The Group gathered information on the
different badges being used so that these can be recognised
- Consultative Arrangements for Disabled People
Involving People with disabilities is fundamental for the
planning and operation of accessible transport systems.
Consultation with disabled persons and their representative
organisations has been shown to be an effective way to
obtain improvements in accessibility at national level
report provides information on the consultative
arrangements in ECMT Member countries and Associate Member
- Concessionary Fares
The Access and Inclusion Working Group collected data in
2000 from its Member countries on concessionary fares on
public transport or aviation for older people as well as
people with disabilities.
- Tactile Surfaces and Audible Signals
The Access and Inclusion Working Group carried out a study
in 2000 on policy considerations of tactile surfaces and
audible signals for visually impaired people. This study
was sent to the ISO, with a request that it finalises its
work in these areas in order to facilitate the move towards
harmonisation of facilities for blind and partially sighted
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