Shared transport investigation invites disabled views on bikes and escooter schemes

The future of sustainable transport modes will be shaped through feedback on inclusivity and accessibility. 

National shared transport charity Collaborative Mobility UK [CoMoUK] has launched a new study as part of a wider project it describes as ‘groundbreaking’. 

Commissioned by the Motability Foundation and delivered in partnership with the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers [RiDC] , the investigation will examine the perspectives people with disabilities have on shared micromobility schemes. This includes e-scooter and share bike operations offering short-term rental. 

Running for six months, the project will include an evidence review, survey of people living with disabilities, focus groups and engagement with public and private sector stakeholders. This will end with a final report, which will represent one of the first pieces of research published in the UK on this issue, despite mounting evidence to show shared travel has major inclusivity issues – figures from the Motability Foundation has shown disabled people make 38% fewer shared journeys by shared transport modes than those without disabilities. 

‘We are excited to be involved in this cutting-edge research, which will give disabled people a voice in shaping the future of how we all travel,’ said Richard Dilks, Chief Executive at CoMoUK. ‘We know from our previous work that micromobility schemes such as e-scooters and bike sharing have the potential to be transformative, improving people’s health at the same time as cutting road congestion and air pollution and freeing up space in cities. It is crucial that nobody is left behind as we move towards these sustainable forms of transport, which must be made as accessible as possible at the design stage. We hope the findings of this research will help to inform the work of transport providers and policymakers in the years to come.’

‘By working with our consumer panel of over 4,000 disabled and older people, we will gain insight into the experiences of disabled people using this type of transport, and what needs to be done to ensure that it is accessible for everyone,’ said Gordon McCullough, RiDC CEO. ‘These transport options represent relatively low-cost means of independent travel but only if they’re designed to be inclusive.  As their availability grows, it’s vital that disabled and older people’s voices are included, and both the vehicles and the booking and payment systems are usable by everyone. After all, when you design with disabled people in mind, you create a product or system that works for everyone.’

More on transport: 

Cambridge welcomes three autonomous electric buses

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‘Toxic cocktail’: Department for Transport receives recommendations on highway runoff

Image: RiDC


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