A new “transport for all” report calls for greater awareness and more consultation on issues affecting older people and those with sensory impairments and learning and physical disabilities.
The report, Keep on Moving, is published last week, by independent health and care champions Healthwatch on behalf of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Partnership Boards (CPPB).
It highlights the difficulties faced by CPPB members – people with physical and learning disabilities, older people and people with sight and/or hearing loss – in travelling around their neighbourhoods and further afield.
Some of them use mobility aids such as rollators and walkers, long canes, wheelchairs or assistance dogs to help them get out and about.
And the barriers they come up against include:
- Obstacles such as pavement signs or tables and chairs outside cafes and shops
- Parked cars and bicycles blocking pavements
- Dangers and nuisance from E-scooters being ridden on pavements and roads
- Taxis not wanting to take people with assistance dogs
- Uneven roads and paths dug up for repairs and not properly restored
The Partnership Boards work to improve adult social care services across our area. And they held a series of meetings with local councils and transport companies to discuss roads, taxis, public and community transport.
The Partnership Boards want to see:
- More consultation over bus routes and community transport schemes
- Discussions with disabled people on road and pavement changes
- Visual and audio announcements on local buses
- Disability and safeguarding training as part of licensing taxi drivers
Graham Lewis, Healthwatch Partnership Development Manager, who supports the Partnership Boards, said local councils had been pleased to have the feedback.
“The difficulties raised are everyday issues that really affect people in our local communities and their ability to stay independent and get around,” he said.
“Everyone needs to get to the shops, get to health appointments and make social trips and visits to friends and family.
“Some of our Board members have told us how difficult it is to book a taxi with wheelchair access in advance, for example. Others have been refused a cab ride because they have a guide dog – or taxis pull away from the rank when they see a dog in the queue.”
You can provide feedback to Healthwatch here.