EU commits to improving accessible transport for all passengers

27 January 2016  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

A European Disability Forum (EDF) delegation met with the EU Commissioner for Transport and Mobility to discuss recent UN findings on recommendations to protect and promote accessible transport for people with disabilities.

EU commits to improving accessible transport for all passengers

On 26 January 2016, EDF Vice-President Gunta Anca met WITH EU Commissioner for Transport and Mobility, Violeta Bulc to discuss recommendations by the UN to the EU on how to better promote and protect the rights of 80 million people with disabilities – in particular recommendations on transport.

In its concluding observations, UN recommends the EU:

  • to strengthen the monitoring and implementation of EU passengers’ rights legislation
  • to harmonise the work of the designated National Enforcement Bodies in order to ensure the effective and equal enjoyment of rights of all passengers with disabilities across the EU

In addition, EDF raised the topic of the European Commission’s recently published proposal of the European Accessibility Act and whether accessibility of transport was addressed sufficiently.

“There are many issues still to be tackled to make independent, spontaneous and seamless travel a reality for everyone in the EU”

EDF Vice-President, Gunta Anca, highlighted: “Passengers’ rights have been in many ways one of the success stories in EU policy-making to facilitate freedom of movement of persons with disabilities. However, luck of accessibility is often still a barrier. There are many issues still to be tackled to make independent, spontaneous and seamless travel a reality for everyone in the EU.”

Commission to address multi-modality accessible transport

Commissioner Bulc responded to EDF’s questions on the next steps that the Commission would take regarding transport policy to implement the UN’s recommendations. The Commissioner proposed specific actions to address accessibility for persons with disabilities within the Commission’s transport policy. For 2016, the focus will be on Rail Passengers’ Rights and for next year, an initiative on multi-modality is to be expected which address the rights of person with disabilities.  Ms Bulc confirmed her commitment to improve accessible transport and to work close to the disability movement to achieve this. She also welcomed feedback from EDF on an ongoing basis on the experience of passengers with disabilities in the EU.

Want to find out more about how EDF is encouraging a seamless, multi-modal, accessible transport chain to allow spontaneous, independent travel for everyone? Gunta Anca, EDF’s Vice-President is providing an informative article for the Accessibility Supplement in Eurotransport Issue 1 2016. Gunta’s article will sit alongside other papers that provide detailed knowledge of how the transport operators in Bologna and Cagliari are making their networks more accessible. Subscribe for free to Eurotransport today to guarantee you receive our first issue of 2016.

One response to “EU commits to improving accessible transport for all passengers”

  1. Jos Helewaut says:

    Thank you for this important statement. My question is what happens to the recommendation that visual impaired people should have access to the travel information (schedule, delays, etc..) at bus and tram stops?

Leave a reply