Transport Secretary Archives - Driving Mobility

Transport Secretary Announces Plans to Make Pavements Accessible for All

Pavements could be made safer for people with disabilities and families under new proposals to ban antisocial parking unveiled by the Government today.

  • New plans set out to boost safety & make journeys more accessible for disabled people and parents
  • Review found third of people with visual impairments and almost half of wheelchair users weren’t as willing to go out because of antisocial pavement parking
  • Consultation will set out proposals to make transport more accessible and help more people to choose active travel as part of UK’s green recovery from Covid-19
Pavements could be made safer for people with disabilities and families under new proposals to ban antisocial parking unveiled by the Government today.

Parking on pavements disproportionately affects people with visual or mobility impairments, those assisted by guide dogs, and wheelchair and mobility scooter users. More than 95 per cent of wheelchair users and people with visual impairments say they have faced problems as a result of vehicles parked on pavements.

Three options are proposed in the consultation launched today – improving the traffic regulation order process to make it easier for councils to prohibit pavement parking in their areas, giving councils powers to fine drivers who park on paths, and a London-style nationwide ban on pavement parking.

However, there is still a major role for cars and other private vehicles, so any future plans will need to take this into consideration.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“Parking on pavements means wheelchair users, visually impaired people and parents with push chairs can be forced into the road, which is not only dangerous, but discourages people from making journeys.

“A key part of our green, post-Covid recovery will be encouraging more people to choose active travel, such as walking, so it is vital that we make the nation’s pavements accessible for everyone.”

Pavement parking presents a clear safety risk when parked cars occupy the pavement and force vulnerable pedestrians to move into the road.

Disabled people say pavement parking is a significant barrier to carrying out daily journeys. Recent research from the charity Guide Dogs shows that 32% of people with vision impairments and 48% of wheelchair users were less willing to go out on their own because of pavement parking, decreasing independence and contributing towards isolation.

As many streets were built decades and centuries before the high levels of vehicles currently on roads, any measures will need to ensure the free-flow of traffic and access for the emergency services.

The consultation is the government’s latest step to deliver on commitments to make transport equally accessible for all users by 2030, as set out in the Inclusive Transport Strategy.

Stephen Edwards, Director of Policy and Communications, Living Streets said:  

“We’re regularly contacted by disabled and older people who feel trapped in their homes because there isn’t enough room on the pavement for wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

“This has impacted more people during the pandemic with blocked pavements affecting everyone’s ability to physically distance.”

Blanche Shackleton, Head of Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns at Guide Dogs said:

“For many people with sight loss, cars and vans parked on the pavement make our streets stressful and dangerous to navigate. At any time, you might be forced out into the road with traffic that you cannot see.”

“When every journey is an ordeal, simply going out independently can become daunting.”

Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO of Mumsnet said:

“Lots of us have occasionally parked a couple of wheels up on the pavement to leave space on the road without really thinking about how it might inconvenience people.

“It’s a topic that comes up regularly on Mumsnet, where wheelchair users and people with buggies share stories about being forced into the road, or having to double back long distances.”

The consultation comes as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps steps up efforts to encourage active travel – such as walking – as part of a green, post-Covid recovery, and level up road quality across the country. The government announced £2bn in May to get more people walking and cycling, and £2.5bn in the Budget towards repairing potholes as part of the biggest nationwide programme ever announced.

On top of this, the government is also investing £27bn to improve roads across the country and boost connectivity between our towns and cities.

It is currently an offence to cause an unnecessary obstruction on the highway, which is enforceable by the police.

Contact Information

Robert Goode
Department for Transport

Rail stations across Great Britain receive £20m funding boost for accessibility improvements

Disabled passengers across Great Britain are set to benefit from accessibility improvements at 124 stations thanks to a £20m government fund.

  • 124 stations across Great Britain to benefit from a share of £20m for accessibility improvements
  • Latest in a series of improvements by the Transport Secretary to accelerate the pace of change for a more accessible transport network
  • Follows launch of new campaign to improve journeys for disabled people when using public transport

Disabled passengers across Great Britain are set to benefit from accessibility improvements at 124 stations thanks to a £20m government fund.

The enhancements announced by the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today (February 26) are funded through the Access for All programme and will include new lifts, accessible toilets and customer information screens.

It comes as a new Government campaign launched this week to improve the journeys of disabled passengers on public transport.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“The ability to travel easily from A to B is an essential factor for our day to day lives – but is not the reality for everyone.

“I recognise that we have much more to do, which is why we’re making 124 train stations across the country more accessible – a key part of levelling-up access for disabled people to transport and opening up opportunities for all.

“This is just the start of a much more ambitious agenda. My goal is to go much further in the years ahead to help ensure that our country’s transport system becomes one of the most accessible in the world.”

These improvements are being made through the Access for All programme which, since 2006, has already made more than 200 stations step free, as well as delivered smaller scale accessibility improvements at more than 1,500 others to improve passenger experience.

Today’s £20million is part of a £300million package announced last year which is already providing accessible, step free routes at 73 stations across Great Britain, making it easier for disabled people to travel on the UK’s rail network.

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said:

“Everyone using our rail network deserves platforms and toilets they can use and this £20million investment to improve 124 railway stations across the country will make a huge difference to disabled people.

“This Government is committed to levelling up the playing field and later this year we’ll launch a national strategy which will ensure disabled people have equal access to all spheres of life.”

This follows the launch of the ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ advertising campaign to highlight how we can all play a part in making public transport inclusive. The campaign is being supported by more than 100 partners, including First Group, WHSmith Travel and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Department for Transport research has shown that behaviours that make public transport a daunting place for disabled people are often unconscious, such as not looking out for a fellow passenger who might need a seat or be in distress.

‘it’s everyone’s journey’ will raise awareness about the needs of disabled people when using public transport, particularly people with non-visible impairments, and will also prompt members of the public to think and consider how their behaviour might impact others.

Alongside this, the Department has also launched its Inclusive Transport Leaders scheme, an accreditation scheme which will encourage, celebrate and promote best practice in inclusive transport.

Operators, such as bus and train companies, are encouraged to sign up to the Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme, where they will work towards one of three accreditation levels by demonstrating the steps they have taken to improve the travelling experiences of disabled passengers, older people, and those with reduced mobility.

These improvements form part of the wider Inclusive Transport Strategy and supports the Government’s ambition of achieving equal access for all on public transport.


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Access for All programme

Projects were selected following nominations from the rail industry and were based on a range of criteria including relevance to disabled passengers, value for money, project credibility, and fair geographical spread across the country.

The stations to benefit from the funding are:

Station Region
Bury St Edmunds East
Colchester North East
Needham Market East
Narborough East Midlands
Barking London
Chessington South London
Ealing Broadway London
Hackney Downs London
Kew Bridge London
Surbiton London
West Croydon London
Billingham North East
Accrington North West
Ainsdale North West
Aintree North West
Altrincham Interchange North West
Aughton Park North West
Bache North West
Bank Hall North West
Bebington North West
Belle Vue North West
Bidston North West
Birkdale North West
Birkenhead central North West
Birkenhead North North West
Birkenhead Park North West
Blundellsands & Crosby North West
Bolton North West
Bootle New Strand North West
Bramhall North West
Bredbury North West
Broad Green North West
Bromborough Rake North West
Bromley Cross North West
Brunswick North West
Chassen Road North West
Davenport North West
Ellesmere Port North West
Fairfield North West
Farnworth North West
Fazakerley North West
Formby North West
Hall Road North West
Hamilton Square North West
Heald Green North West
Heaton Chapel North West
Hightown North West
Hillside North West
Hooton North West
Hoylake North West
Humphrey Park North West
Hunts Cross North West
James Street North West
Kearsley North West
Kirkby North West
Kirkdale North West
Leasowe North West
Liverpool Central (Northern Line) North West
Liverpool South Parkway North West
Lostock North West
Maghull North West
Middlewood North West
Moorfields North West
Moorside North West
Moses Gate North West
New Brighton North West
Old Roan North West
Ormskirk North West
Orrell Park North West
Overpool North West
Prescot North West
Rice Lane North West
Rock Ferry North West
Romiley North West
Rose Hill North West
Ryder Brow North West
Sandhills North West
Seaforth and Litherland North West
Southport North West
Town Green North West
Trafford Park North West
Wallasey Grove Road North West
Wallasey Village North West
Walton North West
Waterloo North West
West Kirby North West
Westhoughton North West
Anderston Scotland
Deal South East
High Brooms South East
Totton South East
Wivelsfield South East
Dorchester South South West
Freshford South West
Lawrence Hill South West
Lostwithiel South West
Nailsea & Backwell South West
Parson Street South West
Patchway South West
Severn Beach South West
Stapleton Road South West
Yate South West
Grangetown Wales
Llantwit Major Wales
Neath Wales
Pontypool & New Inn Wales
Lichfield Trent Valley West Midlands
Wolverhampton West Midlands
Barnetby Yorkshire and the Humber
Darnall Yorkshire and the Humber
Darton Yorkshire and the Humber
Dodworth Yorkshire and the Humber
Elsecar Yorkshire and the Humber
Horton in Ribblesdale Yorkshire and the Humber
Hull Paragon Yorkshire and the Humber
Kiveton Bridge Yorkshire and the Humber
Kiveton Park Yorkshire and the Humber
Malton Yorkshire and the Humber
Penistone Yorkshire and the Humber
Pontefract Monkhill Yorkshire and the Humber
Silkstone Common Yorkshire and the Humber
Thirsk Yorkshire and the Humber
Thorne South Yorkshire and the Humber
Woodhouse Yorkshire and the Humber


It’s everyone’s journey

  • To download the campaign assets for it’s Everyone’s Journey, visit
  • If you’re interested in learning more about ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ or becoming a campaign partner, visit, email or follow #ItsEveryonesJourney and @IEJGov.

Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme


The Department for Transport is launching today a new initiative which aims to improve disabled people’s access to the transport system.

The Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme invites operators from across the transport sector (bus, rail, aviation and maritime) to apply for official accreditation, recognising the inclusivity of their transport provision. It provides a framework for transport operators to make their services more accessible, and recognises and promotes good practice.

Photo by JJ Jordan on Unsplash