Apex Management Solutions has welcomed recent news of a new £500,000 government grant to help improve transport for disabled passengers.
The first-of-its-kind competition aims to find new ways to improve transport accessibility and will provide funding of up to £500,000 which could remove physical barriers, making it easier to access information, or better support travellers.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is launching the first-of-its-kind Accessible Technology Research and Innovation Grant (A-TRIG), which will invest up to £500,000 in projects that can improve access to services or inspire more confidence to travel.
These projects could provide a range of practical solutions that remove physical barriers, make it easier to access information, automate processes or see better support for travellers including:
- ways for visually-impaired passengers to identify the bus they want to catch
- smartphone apps to report inaccessibility and track progress
- a Wayfinder-style system to plan bus journeys
Stephen Heneghan, Managing Director of Apex Transport Solution said: “Transport equates to freedom for many disabled people.
It’s important that disabled people feel empowered and supported to move around independently where possible and introducing new technology based tools is a fantastic step. We look forward to seeing how the grant is allocated and what new technology can potentially be developed.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “I want to harness the power of technology to improve accessibility for disabled people through COVID and beyond. Today’s funding will play a key role by finding new and innovative ideas and projects to break down barriers and could make a massive difference to people’s lives.
Keith Richards, chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC), added: “DPTAC welcomes the new funding for research and innovation aimed at improving access to transport for disabled people. Two years on and the ITS has produced a number of tangible improvements for many disabled people. It’s crucial to step up the pace of change. We support the various tools that have been developed to help achieve that, with the focus on encouraging more innovative thinking, recognising and supporting businesses that are leaders in accessibility and inclusion, celebrating and sharing good practice, and promoting consistent and good quality disability awareness training across transport staff at all levels.