The Office for Statistics Regulation has today published a review of transport accessibility statistics. Accessible transport describes a transport network which allows all users equal opportunity to travel when they want, where they want, how they want, at a price they can afford. It is a key part of having an equal society and statistics on the topic should reflect this importance.
Whilst many statistics on transport and transport use are well developed, we found that existing official statistics are not fully answering the key questions of those with a specific interest in the accessibility of transport networks.
To meet this need, we are recommending that statistics are improved to better reflect the lived experiences of disabled people, ensuring that everyone who should be is counted. We encourage statistics producers to do more with the data that they are already collecting – be it bringing different statistics together to help tell a more coherent story, or publishing additional statistics to provide more insight.
This review comes at an important time for transport strategies across the UK. All countries in Great Britain have national strategies for transport which include elements of improving accessibility. Northern Ireland is developing a disability strategy which touches on transport.
We hope that the publication of our review today will drive the positive changes in the official statistics that are required to improve understanding about the accessibility of transport, evaluate the successes of national strategies and support discussions more broadly about improving statistics to reflect the lives of disabled people.
To complement the overall review of statistics available, we looked in more detail at a small sample of specific outputs to see how well they comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics. Today we have written to the Department of Transport with our views on its publication ‘Transport: disability and accessibility statistics’ and to Transport Scotland with our views on ‘Disability and Transport: Findings from the Scottish Household Survey’. We have previously written to the Office for Rail and Road, and provided views on its ‘Disabled Persons Railcard’ and ‘Passenger Assistance’ statistics.