Coventry University has been tasked with helping to change the face of transport for people with disabilities through a £20 million grant to create the UK’s first evidence centre for accessible and inclusive transport.
The grant has been made available by disability transport charity Motability, whose research shows that disabled people in the UK currently make *38% fewer journeys than non-disabled people – a figure that hasn’t changed in the last decade. This impacts disabled people’s access to healthcare, employment, education and social activities.
The evidence centre will seek to create change by undertaking applied research and delivering exemplar projects to influence policy and transport providers by demonstrating that accessible transport can be achieved.
The research and agenda 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.
With the support of Coventry University and the NTDC, Motability wants to create change and achieve its mission to ensure that no disabled person is disadvantaged due to poor access to transport.
Established in May 2017, the NTDC explores the future of transport design, drawing upon Coventry University’s proud heritage as a School of Design, established in 1843.
It delivers research that guides the design and development of transport systems of the future, working closely with the industry and global car innovators.
NTDC is part of the university’s Clean Growth and Future Mobility research area, which has more than 100 research staff and a research portfolio that explores all aspects of sustainable transport, with expertise that will prove vital in delivering Motability’s ambition for accessible transport.
Coventry University will lead a consortium of collaborators representing a wide range of organisations including RiDC and Designability, Connected Places Catapult, Policy Connect and WSP UK.
The evidence centre will look to improve the lives of disabled people and support Coventry University’s vision of Creating Better Futures.
Paul Herriotts, Professor of Transport Design in the Centre for Future Transport and Cities at Coventry University
We pride ourselves on being an inclusive and diverse university and are constantly working to create better futures. There is a huge amount of expertise among both students and staff which will contribute to this work and help improve the lives of disabled people when it comes to transport.”
Professor Richard Dashwood, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research)
Barry Le Grys, Chief Executive of Motability the charity
Anyone interested in learning more about the evidence centre can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about Motability
About the Evidence Centre
The Evidence Centre will be run by Coventry University and a consortium of charities and organisations, independent of Motability. Coventry University and collaborators have been chosen following an open and transparent charitable grant competition process.
Disabled people make an average of 38 per cent fewer trips than non-disabled people. There has been no reduction in this gap over the past decade. Our analysis shows that completely closing the transport accessibility gap for disabled people in the UK would deliver benefits in the region of £72.4 billion per annum.