January 5, 2023

Designability to work with disabled people to establish accessible transport for everyone

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Motability, the charity, has today awarded grant funding of £20million to a group of organisations, including Designability, to establish the UK’s first Evidence Centre for Inclusive Transport.

Aiming to make transport accessible for everyone

Disabled people make 38% fewer journeys than non-disabled people.

This “transport accessibility gap” tells us there is much more that transport providers need to do to make sure that disabled people can travel across road, rail, and air with ease.

This newly established centre will be led by Coventry University, working in collaboration with charities Designability and Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) and organisations Connected Places Catapult, Policy Connect and WSP UK.

Working directly with disabled people

We will be working with disabled people, disabled people’s organisations, transport providers and policy makers to both undertake research and develop solutions which aim to make transport accessible for everyone.

The centre will look to transform the transport sector’s understanding of disabled peoples’ experiences of travel, using emerging technology advances to improve the accessibility and reliability of transport for disabled people.

How the grant was awarded

The grant funding of £20 million will be distributed over seven years to develop and run the UK’s first Evidence Centre for Inclusive Transport.

Throughout an open and transparent grant competition process, Motability has worked with a panel of competition advisors, from research, policy, charity, and disability sector backgrounds. The experts advised Motability on the competition design and the grant applications received. The winning consortium was ultimately chosen by a selection panel made up of Motability’s Governors and Executive Board.

The panel of competition advisors were:

  • Helen Dolphin MBE is the founder of the accreditation scheme, People’s Parking, and advises mobility businesses to make it easier for disabled people to get around in public spaces. Helen is also a customer of the Motability Scheme and chairs the Motability Operations Consumer Group.
  • Professor Adewale Adebajo MBE is an Honorary Professor in Musculoskeletal Health Service Research, working both in research and clinically in the field of musculoskeletal conditions, most recently at the University of Sheffield. Adewale is also a Consultant Rheumatologist.
  • James Lee works in policy, research, and grant management, with charities and local government, advocating for the experiences of disabled people. James has collaborated with organisations such as the Mayor of London’s Office, City Bridge Trust and the National Lottery Community Fund.
  • Jonathan Breckon brought his knowledge of creating and developing evidence and ‘what works’ centres, including the Cabinet Office What Works Council and as a Director of the Department for Education’s What Works for Children’s Social Care.
  • David Hunter advocates for inclusive transport and public spaces, working with local councils and the third sector to implement planning strategies. David is also a board member on the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland.

Stay tuned for more details

The Evidence Centre is scheduled to launch in early 2023.

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