Coventry University, working in collaboration with the RiDC (Research Institute for Disabled Consumers), Designability and a number of other organisations are launching the UK’s first Evidence Centre for Inclusive Transport following grant funding from Motability (the Charity) worth £20 million over seven years.
Right now, disabled people make 38% fewer journeys than non-disabled people – a figure that hasn’t changed in the last decade, according to Motability’s Transport Accessibility Report.
In response, Motability are grant funding a new Evidence Centre for Inclusive Transport with the aim of helping transport providers do more to make sure that disabled people can travel across road, rail, and air with ease.
They have awarded Coventry University, together with charities RiDC and Designability and organisations Connected Places Catapult, Policy Connect, WSP UK, with funding to develop transport accessibility solutions for everyone.
The research and agenda of the centre will be led by people who have disabilities and will build upon the user-centred approach successfully developed at the university’s National Transport Design Centre (NTDC), where the evidence centre will be based.
Established in May 2017, the NTDC is a state-of-the-art facility operating within the Centre for Future Transport and Cities at Coventry University.
Motability and Coventry University teamed up in 2021 to sponsor a number of doctoral candidates to undertake research into accessible transport.
Barry Le Grys, Chief Executive of Motability said: "We are pleased to grant fund Coventry University and collaborators to run the UK’s first evidence centre for inclusive transport. We know they will bring their wealth of experience and expertise in transport design and the experiences of disabled people to help us to create longer-term solutions in travel accessibility."
Paul Herriotts, Professor of Transport Design in the Centre for Future Transport and Cities at Coventry University added: "We are delighted to have been chosen to lead the evidence centre and look forward to starting this exciting project for which we have great passion. We need to better understand people who have disabilities lived experiences, needs, and wants in relation to transport. The funding from Motability enables us to undertake innovative applied research that puts those people impacted with disabilities at the heart of the process. We will look to disabled people to help guide and inform our activities and to help shape the future of public and private transport in the UK."