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2005-10-19 DfT-001
Department for Transport


Government accessibility advisor predicts Olympic victory

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Department for Transport

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Department for Transport

Government accessibility advisor predicts Olympic victory

19 Oct 2005 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release

Disabled people deserve to be winners when they travel to the London Olympics said Neil Betteridge, Chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC).

Speaking before he appeared at the Transport Select Committee's inquiry into Olympic Transport at the House of Commons today, Neil Betteridge said:

"London 2012 could be the most accessible Olympics ever. This is a challenge that the Department for Transport and Transport for London must rise to as they bring the Olympic Transport Authority into being."

Neil set out a five point plan to give disabled people a sporting chance to get to the Games on time.

A strong legal basis. The London Olympic Bill should state that the new duties the Government has created for public bodies to meet disabled people's needs, eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity apply to the Olympic Delivery and Transport Authorities.

Commitment from the top. Transport for London and its successors in the Olympic Transport Authority must establish Board level responsibility for access issues.

Adequate human and financial resources. Qualified staff need to lead a team of high quality professional access consultants. The government will get better dividends in the long run for its public investment if accessibility is designed in from the start, rather than shoehorned in later.

Involvement of disabled people at every level. Nationally the Government needs to involve bodies like DPTAC and the Disability Rights Commission. Locally the Olympic Transport Authority, Transport for London and others should involve disabled people who live and work in the areas affected by Olympic transport proposals. A two way process of consultation must offer the correct information in the right format and manner at the appropriate time.

Binding commitments. The Department for Transport and Transport for London should ensure that developers and contractors sign up to our 'Commitment to Inclusive Design' which sets out straightforward principles and clear guidance to deliver accessibility in every Olympic transport project from conception to the closing ceremony.

"The Transport Committee has today given us the opportunity to fire the starting pistol for the race to an accessible Olympics" Neil said."

Notes for editors:

1. The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) was set up under the Transport Act 1985 to advise the Government and industry on the transport needs of disabled people.

2. Neil Betteridge, who is Chief Executive of Arthritis Care, was appointed Chair of DPTAC in 2003. The committee (with a maximum of 20 members of whom at least half must be disabled people), represents a wide range of transport interests, and provides expert advice on a broad range of transport issues aimed at improving access for disabled people. Members are appointed by Ministers and are unpaid, apart from the reimbursement of expenses.

3. Neil Betteridge and Grahame Lawson (Chair of DPTAC's Personal Mobility and Local Authority Working Group) appeared today before the Transport Committee as part of its inquiry 'Going for Gold: Delivering Excellent Transport for London's 2012 Olympic Games', alongside the Disability Rights Commission and the London Transport Users Committee. Neil is Chief Executive at Arthritis Care and Vice Chair of ARMA (the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance). Grahame was lately Head of Planning and Transportation with North Lanarkshire Council, and an adviser to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities on disability matters.
4. DPTAC's lead Member on Olympic issues, who could not be at today's hearing, is Katherine Phipps, Head of JMU Access Partnership, a pan-disability access consultancy service supported by RNIB.

5. For more information about DPTAC contact
DPTAC Secretariat, 4/24 Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR

Railhub Archive ::: 2005-10-19 DfT-001


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