Dear Ian, 

Transport: disability and accessibility statistics, England 

We recently completed our compliance check of the statistics published in Transport: disability and accessibility statistics, England 

The statistics were first released in this format in March 2021, in response to user interest in the area. Statistics users we spoke to during the summer who were aware of this publication felt it was a useful output, which pulled together many different, interesting and valuable data sources. In September 2021, your team produced a second publication, reflecting the most up-to-date data at that time. We welcome the improvements the team made following our initial feedback, including producing Transport: disability and accessibility statistics, England: 2020 quality report which provides information about quality, particularly coverage, on each of the sources of data used.   

In evaluating the statistics against the Code of Practice for Statistics, we found a range of positive features that demonstrate trustworthiness, quality, and value:  

  • The statistical bulletin was developed in response to statistics users’ interest in this area, and user feedback has been taken onboard with the ongoing development of the publication  
  • A wide range of data sources has been used within the publication, including National Statistics, other official statistics, and statistics produced by other public and private organisations. Details about each of these sources, including data limitations, are explained in the new quality report   
  • The data are presented clearly, and explained well, with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic clearly highlighted in the latest release  
  • The publication is timely, with the latest publication released on the same day as the statistical release for statistics from the National Travel Survey – one of the main sources of data to feed into the publication  

We also identified some ways in which the trustworthiness, quality and value could be enhanced in the interest of the public good: 

  • The team could do more to publicise the release, for example by compiling and contacting an email address list of known users, and using social media to highlight interesting findings, to ensure that those with a potential interest in the release are aware it is available 
  • The team should present information about the uncertainty of survey data, and how it impacts comparisons between different estimates, which would help users to understand the likelihood that experiences between groups are significantly different. This will be particularly important where there is an interest in year-on-year changes, to highlight if changes are statistically significant, such as for the data which feeds into the Inclusive Transport Strategy scorecard  
  • Users expressed an interest in accessing data with more-granular breakdowns to enable them to understand how experiences vary by different demographics, such as the experience of young disabled adults. The team should provide more detail on whether, and where, further breakdowns can be accessed, and in consultation with users, identify where further breakdowns are needed.  
  • Users have highlighted the following points of interest: the accessibility of coaches, the availability and use of community transport and the impact of living in a rural or urban area on the accessibility of transport. We recommend that in consultation with users, you consider whether other data sources or additional analyses could contribute towards statistics on disability and transport to provide further insights. 

We would encourage you to consider these suggestions alongside the findings of our wider review of statistics related to transport accessibility, which we have also published today.  

Thank you to your team for its positive engagement during this review. We look forward to continuing to engage with you and the team. Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss any aspects of this letter further or if we can offer further assistance. I have copied this letter to John Wilkins, Deputy Director, Travel and Environment Data and Statistics Division, Department for Transport.  

Yours sincerely,

Mark Pont
Assessment Programme Lead