New transport centre launches to help improve accessibility for all

The centre aims to change the future of travel for disabled people. Disabled people have been promised a greater voice in designing transport systems that meet their needs with the launch of a new National Centre for Accessible Transport (NCAT).

NCAT is a £20 million project funded by Motability, the charity, and is led by Professor Paul Herriotts, based at Coventry University’s National Transport Design Centre (NTDC), working alongside a number of organisations that form a specialist consortium. Connected Places Catapult is part of this consortium, alongside Designability, Policy Connect, Research Institute for Disabled Consumers, and WSP UK. 

NCAT will work alongside disabled people, disability organisations, transport providers and policy makers to research and develop ideas that put accessibility at the centre of delivery for all modes of travel including those on the road, rail, in the air and on the water. 

At a launch event on Wednesday at the university’s National Transport Design Centre, Professor Paul Herriotts said: “It is vital that we listen to what disabled people have to say about their experiences of public and private transport and use this information to change the future of travel.

“NCAT will use research and insights to influence key decision makers in the transport sector and local and national government to ensure that the way disabled people travel and get from one place to another is made much easier. The Catapult will leverage its unique position as the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport and place leadership to help achieve the ambitions of the Centre. We will focus on the commercialisation of products and services which place the user’s needs at the heart of design, focusing on solutions that will create a more equitable and accessible transport system in the UK.”
Connected Places Catapult Innovation Director, Michael Edwards
“The Centre is led by the experiences of disabled people and brings together a wealth of expertise in transport design to broaden the evidence base on inclusive transport, bringing forward new policy and design solutions. We know that being unable to make the journeys they want or need to has a huge impact on disabled people’s daily lives and more needs to be done to help make transport inclusive.” 
Rachael Badger, Motability

Research by Motability 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.