Wheelchair accessible vehicles are a must. After all, in 2014, 20% of disabled people reported having difficulties related to their disability in accessing transport, which is by all means alarming. Since then, people have been working tirelessly to make some stark changes in this arena.
The percentage of wheelchair accessible vehicles being out on the roads is increasing. Below, we take a look at what efforts are being made to make this possible.
Innovation and Determination
The path to vehicles with disability access has been by no means easy. Still, that hasn’t stalled the hard work of innovators. For example, thanks to companies like Allied Mobility, disabled vehicles are widely available and more affordable than ever. It’s companies like this that lead the charge in getting wheelchair users out on the road, making adjustments and modifications to make sure their vehicles are suitable.
They go the extra mile here too. They’ll even send out mobility consultants to a potential buyer’s home, in order to showcase what’s on offer; how the vehicle works, what the interested party can expect from the vehicle, etc. These tactics undoubtedly get more wheelchair bound people on the roads, showing them first hand on how things are different now.
Clamping Down on Taxis
Wheelchair users have long had difficulties in utilising taxis. Often the drivers, especially those who liked to rush around free of any kind of delay, would refuse service to disabled users. It’s inhumane and fully unacceptable, and it’s something the law has begun to take note of in the treatment of disabled passengers.
For example, from the 6th April 2017, it is now unlawful for taxi drivers to discriminate against wheelchair users, and they will be slapped with hefty fines of £1000 for non-compliance. This includes bumping up prices for extra time spent on ensuring their comfort and safe transport. No doubt these more recent laws will encourage more wheelchair users to get out on the roads, and actually enjoy transportation too!
Priority Seating Arrangements
Unfortunately, discrimination was to be found elsewhere too. Many bus drivers would be just as impatient, unhelpful and unaccommodating. Wheelchair users faced many hardships here too, being made to feel like an inconvenient burden than a paying customer. It’s wrong on many levels, and it keeps many wheelchair users away from even attempting to use vehicles. However, now the bus services are being put in check too.
Last year, campaigner Doug Paulley won a legal battle that would shift the tide; a ruling that would spur the bus companies efforts to give wheelchair users priority seating on buses. This means more accessibility and reduced discrimination, and it’s backed by Britain’s Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani. Some major legal landmarks are being secured, and it’s making vehicles of all shapes and sizes more accessible for wheelchair users.