Research Shows Limited Accessibility for Disabled Travellers in UK

Following London hosting the 2012 Paralympic Games for the differently able, new research shows that public places in the UK still have a long way to go in being fully accessible for people with limited mobility.

Tourism for All, a UK based non-profit for people with limited mobility, and Adapted Vehicle Hire, a car hire company for people with special accessibility requirements, recently conducted a survey of disabled travellers. The research has pointed out that around 9 out of 10 respondents feel restricted from travelling due to unavailability of accessible options.

Although 92% of the people surveyed reported that accessibility has improved in the country in the last decade, around 86% of them said that information regarding accessibility to tourist places remains insufficient.

Carrie-Ann Lightley, the spokesperson from Tourism For All, said, ‘We are heartened that most people feel that access and facilities have improved in the past ten years, but the survey also revealed there are big variations across the UK.

Access to some rural and historic sites will always present more of a challenge for disabled visitors, but places like airports have scope for significant improvement to better meet the needs of disabled travellers.’

While London has been marked as the most accessible destination in the UK, the British airports, Underground, and train stations have been ranked poorly in terms of accessibility.

Lorraine Farnon, the managing director of Adapted Vehicle Hire, said, ‘The results of this survey clearly demonstrate that despite gradual progress, more needs to be done to make the travel industry more accessible for disabled people.

Following the outstanding success of the Paralympics which has brought disability issues increasingly into the mainstream, there is now an opportunity to make real improvements to access and facilities across the UK.’