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Research raises questions over use of ‘wheelchair standard’ in public transport
The current “wheelchair standard” used to ensure that vehicle and infrastructure designs across the transport sector are spacious enough only covers about half of all mobility aids used by disabled people in the UK, according to a government study.
The new research, commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT), says the government may need to consider updating the reference wheelchair standard to allow a greater proportion of disabled people to use rail, bus, taxi and private hire vehicles and transport infrastructure.
It says that its “key finding” is that “the current reference wheelchair specification” covers only 54 per cent of all mobility aid users.
The research was published this week as part of the government’s ongoing review of the standard, which is due to report next year.
This week’s report says that mobility aids are becoming bigger and heavier as disabled people expect them to have “increased functionality and range”, and this trend is expected to continue over the next 10 years.
This is causing problems with on-vehicle [...]