Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North
Jul
18

Inclusive Transport Strategy Blog

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 18 July 2019 12:40

Providing the transport Norwich needs is part of Chloe’s 6 priorities for Norwich North. In her absence whilst she is on maternity leave, her office is pleased to share the following information with you.

 

Throughout Chloe’s time as an MP, she has consistently campaigned for investment in transport infrastructure in East Anglia. As a result of this work Chloe has delivered for her constituents by securing an additional £1.5 billion of investment for the region, which is producing new, spacious trains, free Wi-fi, better timetables, more frequent services and more peak seats into London.

 

Despite these improvements action must be taken to improve access to these services particularly as a fifth of people identify as disabled. This is why in July 2018 the Government announced the introduction of two new programmes; the Inclusive Transport Strategy which set out the objective to achieve equal access for disabled people using the transport system, and Access for All which is aimed at providing funding for accessible, step free routes at railway stations. Both of these initiatives have already seen significant progress since their launch twelve months ago.

 

The key commitments which have been delivered include:

 

  • A commitment to extend the Access for All programme with an additional £300 million, delivering improvements at a further 73 stations between 2019 and 2024;
  • An invitation to motorway service stations to apply for a share of £2 million funding for fully accessible Changing Places facilities, supporting disabled people to travel easily and comfortably on the road network;
  • The introduction of the first ever impartial and independent Rail Ombudsman, making sure passengers are heard and that they get a fair deal when train companies fall short;
  • The extension of the Blue Badge eligibility criteria to include people with non-visible disabilities (mental, cognitive, learning, psychological, and neurological); and
  • The publication of the ‘Inclusive Transport Strategy: Monitoring and Evaluation framework’.

 

As this week marks one year since the launch of the Strategy, the Government is announcing an extra £20 million fund which will be open for applications from stations in need of accessibility improvements, leading to small-scale enhancements such as tactile paving and handrails which will improve accessibility for disabled rail passengers.

 

This action by the Government is important for Norwich because for many the ability to travel easily from A to B can be taken for granted. Taken together, these improvements alongside Chloe’s successful campaigning will improve transport infrastructure in the region while also opening up journeys for disabled passengers, allowing them to travel with confidence.

 

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