Part 6: How We Will Deliver This Framework
Part 6: How We Will Deliver This Framework
We believe that there are three key challenges for this Framework to be successful.
- Some of the accessibility issues stem from long-term challenges that cannot be resolved quickly or by a single organisation. These include improving attitudes and behaviours of staff and the general public towards disabled people and ensuring that disabled people's transport needs are integral to decision-making, not overlooked or consulted on as an afterthought.
Maintaining good governance
- The high-level actions shown in Part 7 of this document need to be prioritised, broken down and assigned for completion. They also need to be monitored and reviewed regularly to ensure that they are helping us towards achieving our vision and outcomes.
- The actions required to deliver the vision, cannot just be presented or achieved centrally, some actions are more appropriately addressed at local and regional levels, according to personal and geographical issues.
Ensuring continuous engagement and participation
- The actions listed at Part 7 are only the start of the process as they respond to the 48 issues raised by disabled people as part of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Scottish Government's engagement on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We need to keep listening and talking to disabled people to make sure a range of actions are taken to ensure transport is improving for them.
- Disabled people need to know how and where to access support and information in a way that is accessible to them and which genuinely enables engagement and participation.
We have many assets which can help tackle these challenges. These include people working in transport who very much want to listen and improve services for disabled people. We also have huge knowledge and passion to improve transport from disabled people, both individually and through their representative organisations. We want to use and build on these assets to achieve our vision and outcomes.
This Framework and the way it has been produced is the first step in changing culture – helping to shape attitudes and behaviours.
This Framework should be considered by all other relevant policy areas, including those mentioned in Parts 4 and 5. This is because transport is an enabler for disabled people to access many of the things which policies seek to achieve. Things such as jobs, health and social care and education all require disabled people to be able to access transport.
People's attitudes to disabled people are shaped from early years and in circumstances extending beyond travel. So to tackle things like disability hate crime we need to get to the root of people's attitudes and behaviours from when these are shaped.
We expect that this consideration will be reflected in the actions in both the Scottish Government's Disability Action Plan and in the associated Local Government Action Plan.
All of those involved in and around transport need to view disabled people as both a key customer group and an excellent source of information when improving their services, not just in the way these are provided for disabled people themselves, but for everyone. As mentioned in our outcomes, disabled people need to be involved from the start of discussions on the design, development and improvement of transport policies, services and infrastructure – indeed on everything to do with their travel needs.
We expect the very existence of the Framework should signal this necessity to all involved in transport, but we will also work through various channels to facilitate such involvement where possible.
Maintaining good governance
To ensure the actions committed to are delivered, we want to put in place a governance structure that brings disabled people and people working in transport together to ensure the right steps are taken across the system to improve accessibility. There are existing structures at the national, regional and local levels to enable this.
At the national level
The Transport Accessibility Steering Group that developed this Framework will continue in existence. The group will be supported by Transport Scotland to develop, monitor and review the actions needed throughout the 10 year lifespan of this Framework.
We propose that high-level actions will be broken down into short-, medium- and long-term actions and that action plans will be revised every two to three years.
The remit of the group will include, ensuring that the vision and outcomes of the Framework are being achieved. A key strand will also be ensuring that disabled people are included in discussions at all levels in transport.
A rolling business plan will be produced by the Steering Group that will govern its work including membership and terms of reference.
The Steering Group will also agree relationships and reporting mechanisms with other national groups, such as the Rail Accessibility Forum and the Roads for All Forum in Transport Scotland. There will also be links to structures at local and regional levels through Community Planning Partnerships, Regional Transport Partnerships and transport operator-led customer service groups.
At the local and regional levels
As mentioned in Part 5, Local authorities and some Regional Transport Partnerships, as local transport authorities, have an extensive role in respect of transport including equality duties.
The joint Scottish Government, COSLA and Regional Transport Partnership report Develop to Deliver highlighted a number of key roles for RTPs in future policy and project delivery. One of key relevance to this Framework, is the suggestion that RTPs play an enhanced role in improving access to health and social care, building on the outcomes and pilot schemes established as a result of the previous Short Life Working Group on Access to Health and Social Care and other regional Health and Transport initiatives.
RTPs have recognised that they have a vital role in ensuring the new Health and Social Care Integrated Joint Boards (which are partnerships between local authorities and NHS Boards) take account of Regional Transport Strategies to deliver positive outcomes for persons with disabilities health and social care.
Both local authorities and Regional Transport Partnerships are covered by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. This Act included two key elements which will help to facilitate strong links between disabled people and local and regional public authorities:
- the strengthening of community planning to give communities more of a say in how public se
rvices are to be planned and provided; and
- new rights enabling communities to identify needs and issues and request action to be taken on these.
The Steering Group will work to enhance and support these links throughout localities in Scotland. This includes local authorities, Community Planning Partnerships, and Health and Social Care Integration Authorities.
As with all work to take forward this Framework, recognition of the different needs of different communities across Scotland will be key to success. Figure 16 discusses one such important difference for rural areas.
The review of Equality Evidence in Rural Scotland found access to transport can be particularly severe for those who do not drive in cases where public transport is not physically accessible, convenient nor affordable.
The review found there is evident good practice developing around community bus networks, lift sharing and more accessible ferries and terminals in certain areas. This has been supported by Government action, for example by supporting demand responsive transport which can provide a more cost-effective, flexible alternative to conventional bus services.
The Scottish Government created the first ever Scottish Rural Parliament. In June 2015 Scottish Rural Action produced an 18-month Action Plan and "effective and affordable transport" is a key ask within it. The Action Plan currently highlights two objectives in relation to transport infrastructure and requires partnership working:
- improved communication between transport operators and communities regarding transport developments and efforts to integrate timetables, with opportunities for communities to challenge change to services; and
- improved support for community transport initiatives.
Community Transport is a voluntary sector provision of transport which can be used by local authorities and community planning partnerships to provide flexible, accessible and responsive solutions to unmet local needs. Using everything from mopeds to minibuses, typical services include voluntary car schemes, community bus services and Dial-a Ride. Supported by the Community Transport Association in Scotland which is for, and about, accessible and inclusive transport. It provides leadership and support to a wide variety of community transport organisations who are embedded in the communities they serve. It exists to support its members and to act as the lead body representing the interests of voluntary and community transport providers. An example of how community transport is used by community planning partnerships is shown at Figure 17.
The Borders Community Planning Partnership established a Strategic Transport Board in 2014 to determine long-term plans for community and passenger transport; coordinate transport commissioning; oversee efficiency; and steer improvement. The Board identified that a one-stop shop to access community transport would have significant benefits for all stakeholders.
Community transport providers and local authority officials partnered to plan and obtain funding to create a one-stop hub that pooled available assets. Once a plan was agreed and finance obtained, the partnership worked to align systems to make best use of available transport, reduce duplication of journeys and provide a single booking service.
Adopting this approach has meant the partnership has been unable to provide transport in just six cases. The hub can identify duplicate journeys and negotiate to change appointment times to ensure that patients attend health and social care appointments. Users have greatly praised the service and improved relationships now exist between transport partners. In a relatively short period of time, user experiences of accessing transport has been significantly improved and services can now reach many who have never previously accessed community transport. The service won the Accessibility Project of the Year Award at the 2016 Scottish Transport Awards.
Continuing to recognise, assess and respond to the different accessibility issues in urban and rural areas will be an important focus of work through the lifetime of this Framework and will be reflected in the work of the Steering Group.
The Steering Group will also work to identify how they can link into, support and learn from the work taking place at a local and regional level.
Ensuring continuous engagement and participation
As a Steering Group, our first principle in everything we have done to produce the Framework has been to involve disabled people directly.
We believe that it is vital that this engagement process continues throughout the life of the Framework, in addition to the arrangements described above for ensuring disabled people are making the key decisions about governance.
Part of the work of the organisations participating on the Steering Group will be to ensure that their members are kept informed about the action plan and given a voice on transport issues right back to the centre of government.
We intend to fund a process of engagement which will track a group of volunteers throughout the Framework lifespan to gain an insight into the changes they believe are (or are not) making a difference to improve accessible travel. This process will be run by the Scottish Disability Equality Forum (SDEF) and report to the Steering Group. There will also be regular discussion and engagement events held throughout the country of the type held before publication of the Framework, supplemented by online surveys which will also inform the Steering Group's work.
Accessible travel hub – accessibletravel.scot
One of the key things we have found throughout the process has been a lack of awareness of things like the legal rights of disabled people to accessible travel, but also the various support mechanisms and guidance which already exists. SDEF will also develop and host an online hub – accessibletravel.scot – which aims to draw together up-to-date information about all aspects of transport accessibility in a one-stop-shop so that everyone can learn from good practice, make connections and share their work. SDEF will also publish a newsletter in accessible formats to keep people up to date with what is happening as we implement this Framework.
Other ways to engage and participate
There are numerous structures in existence which should help enable disabled people to engage and participate in transport decisions at all levels. Throughout the span of the Framework we will investigate how these are working for disabled people and what additional information and guidance is needed to allow disabled people to fully engage and participate.
Examples are provided in Figures 18 and19 about the kind of regular, thoughtful engagement that leads to real improvements for disabled people – some large-scale, others more modest but still important – and this is the kind of practice we want to build upon. We want all transport providers to take the initiative and have this kind of engagement as part of their work.
NorthLink Ferries regularly meets disability organisations and adapts their offer taking into account the needs identified. As an example:
- in specially adapted accessible cabins it was a standard to have shower heads at a standing use position.This has been changed to be at a height usable from someone in a sitting position, while at the same time fold-down shower stools were installed in all accessible showers
- a staff training session was held with Deafblind Scotland which included a walk around the vessel facilities. This identified that our positioning of some waste bins impeded the accessibility for someone who is deafblind. These bins have now been repositioned; and
- on all passenger doors on-board the NorthLink Ferries we now have tactile, Braille and visually-enhanced signage to assist with the free movement for anyone with a visual impairment. We had these signs tried, tested and approved in discussion with a member of the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland.
In 2015 Aberdeenshire Council embarked on an ambitious programme to develop sustainable and active travel proposals for each of the area's largest five towns. The Integrated Travel Town project aimed to engage with as wide a range of stakeholders as possible, adopting a number of approaches to assist those with access or mobility issues.
Officials attended local community group meetings, were available at venues on specified dates and times, and took stalls at community events such as farmer's markets and family-based events. Recognising that many of those with accessibility issues could find it difficult to attend these events, 23,000 households were directly mailed a pack of maps and public transport information and invited to comment by paid postage on local accessibility issues.
This was augmented with an online tool which allowed users to view online maps and pin comments virtually onto the map. This approach informed the project team of many local accessibility issues which may have been missed using traditional audit and consultation methods.
The work of delivering this Framework will help ensure that disabled people know about the existence of the various groups and mechanisms for explaining their experiences and expressing their views which exist, so that they can decide if, when and where to participate. We will also be looking at how we can support the people who run these groups and mechanisms to engage with disabled people in a way that is accessible and accommodating.
|Delivering progress towards our vision|
|Partners||Examples of work through which high-level activity||Key challenges||Accessible Travel Framework Activities and Outputs||Outcomes||Our Vision|
Scottish Government, Transport Scotland, local government and professions
Changing cultures through:
|We make progress towards relevant national outcomes|
Transport service, information and infrastructure providers and enablers
National Action Plan
We make progress towards accessibility outcomes
Disabled People's Organisation
Pan-impairment to reflect everyone with a disability including hidden disabilities and mental illness
We will know we are making progress towards accessibility outcomes because we use the following sources
Transport Accessibility Hub
Capturing existing activity, and spreading good practice through knowledge exchange