Bernadette Kelly, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport (DfT), visited Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF)’s Mobility Centre in Carshalton, Surrey on 10 November, accompanied by Graham Pendlebury, Director of Local Transport at DfT and Sue Rogers, DfT’s Manager of Mobility Centres in England.
This visit reflects DfT’s commitment to improving accessible transport and opportunities for people with disabilities to become more independent by increasing their mobility. Bernadette wanted to better understand the diverse mobility needs of people with disabilities and the support provided by mobility centres such as QEF and other members of Driving Mobility across England, and to see the impact that government funding is having in this area. Bernadette said ‘Today’s visit to QEF’s mobility centre gave me the opportunity to see the important work mobility centres do for people with reduced mobility. Centres like this one play a vital role in making opportunities to travel available to all.’.
The Mobility Centres goal is to ensure there is a centre within in an hour’s travel for everyone that needs one. The number of mobility centres is increasing significantly – there are currently 13 main centres and 44 outreach centres in England, with more to come. Demand for mobility centres is expected in increase, with more than 12,000 mobility assessments expected in 2017/18.
During the visit the Permanent Secretary and other delegates spoke about assessments, including driving, vehicle access, wheelchairs, scooters and cycling, and also discussed the support and advice needed for people who can no longer drive safely.
Have your say – the deadline for the consultation period around the DfT’s Draft Transport Accessibility Action Plan has been extended to November 22nd 2017: http://bit.ly/2wrwN9u