- EU legislation should help further improvement of the accessibility of public transport network
- Current discussions related to the European Accessibility Act should aim at finding realistic requirements making sure the whole initiative is a success according to UITP (the International Association of Public Transport).
On Tuesday 11 April, the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament will adopt its opinion on the so called European Accessibility Act. UITP, representing public transport operators and competent authorities, is worried about the potential negative impact on the accessibility objectives of the latest compromise.
Even though there is no EU requirement at present, the public transport sector has already integrated accessibility in its development. (Examples can be found on a webpage UITP decided to dedicate to the accessibility of public transport). While new public transport lines and stations, or those undergoing major refurbishments, are made to be accessible for all, the oldest networks, sometimes older than 100 years, need proper consideration and planning. Where needed, alternative solutions, such as human assistance, accessible surface transport or dedicated private transport services, are in place in most Member States.
Public transport operators and competent authorities support the harmonisation of products and services, not only for a well-functioning internal market, but also to make passengers feel more confident that the same level of service will be provided throughout their journey across the European Union. However, achieving completely accessible transport networks across the EU requires a thorough understanding of local needs to ensure finite levels of investment are directed to where they are most useful. In the absence of a detailed impact assessment, UITP is concerned that the current proposals on the built environment are simply not achievable
UITP is keen for EAA to be a useful and effective tool working for accessibility but to reach the goal of accessibility, it must be realistic if it is to be properly implemented.
About The International Association of Public Transport (UITP)
The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) is a passionate champion of sustainable urban mobility and is the only worldwide network to bring together all public transport stakeholders and all sustainable transport modes. We have 1,400 member companies giving access to 18,000 contacts from 96 countries. Our members are public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, research institutes and the public transport supply and service industry.