MACS response to the Regional Transport Strategy for the West of Scotland 2022-2037

MACS is a Scottish statutory body that provides advice to the Minister for Transport on transport and disability. Our responses to the consultation do not fit easily with the questionnaire, so we have chosen to respond independently of it. Our comments relate solely to issues of transport and disabled passengers.

MACS very much welcomes the focus on Accessible Transport in the Plan, its identification as a Key Transport Issue and recognition in policy PA1.

However, this emphasis is not reflected in the Monitoring Indicators, where the only one that relates to accessibility is the number of Changing Places toilets. This is not sufficient, if you are genuinely intending to improve accessibility, you need to measure it. Monitoring Indicators that could be incorporated include the increase in the number of stations that are step- free, or the increase in the number of buses that permit wheelchair access and accommodation. However, the Monitoring Indicators require a thorough re-evaluation from an accessibility viewpoint if PA1 is to have any practical value or meaning.

We recommend that Policy P.PT2 should include a commitment to increase the number of Subway stations that are accessible. It is currently only 2 out of 15 (after a £280m refurbishment…). This will not be satisfactory in 2037.

We recommend that paragraph 8.3 - regarding the Metro – should include a commitment to make the Clyde Metro, as a brand new piece of transport infrastructure, completely accessible, as the Edinburgh tram is.

In the section on Policy Drivers the plan makes reference to an ageing population, but not its impact. The aging population will result in an increasing per centage of disabled passengers, increasing importance of the importance of improving accessibility.

Simon Watkins
Rail workstream Lead
The Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland
2 September 2022