Systemic review outline: Accessibility of Transport Networks


At the Office for Statistics Regulation, we want statistics to serve the public good. In the Travel, Transport and Tourism team, we believe the statistics we regulate should reflect the lived experience of those who want to travel, and support those with the power to make improvements to transport to do so. Our recent research has highlighted there’s room for improvement in statistics about the accessibility of transport networks.

Accessible and inclusive transport networks support everyone, regardless of age, disability or other protected characteristic, to have an equal opportunity to get where they need or want to go. Governments across the UK have made commitments to make transport more inclusive and accessible. Trustworthy and high-quality statistics are vital for this improvement process; at their best these statistics would highlight where people are making journeys successfully, where they are facing barriers to accessing transport and whether the actions taken to make things better are working.

What we are doing

This project aims to review statistics about the accessibility of transport and explore whether the statistical system is providing the accurate, coherent and comprehensive information that those relying on statistics need. We will focus on answering three key questions:

  • do the existing statistics reflect the lived experiences of those relying on transport to be accessible?
  • do the existing statistics help answer the key questions of those with an interest in understanding the accessibility of transport networks?
  • do the statistics provide a comprehensive and reliable evidence base to inform decision making of everyone with the responsibility to make improvements to the accessibility of our transport networks?

The scope of our review will be focused on the priority areas we have identified:

  • the review will consider statistics about the accessibility of transport which the public rely on to get to where they want or need to go within the UK (international travel is out of scope)
  • it will cover all barriers to access, including, but not limited to, the barriers faced by disabled people, families and older people
  • the review will focus on Official Statistics, but we will engage with organisations who hold relevant data outside of the Official Statistics system
  • our review will cover Official Statistics produced in the devolved nations as well as the UK Government

Taking part

If you are interested in statistics about the accessibility of transport networks, it would be great to have your input into this project. We are setting up one-to-one phone or video interviews and virtual focus groups during June and July, and we are happy to receive written feedback if you prefer. If you are interested in contributing to or would like to receive an alert as more information becomes available, please get in touch.

Contact the Project Lead, Louisa McCutcheon, for more information.

Submitting written feedback – key user questions

We would welcome written feedback aligned to our key user questions. Please send any feedback to the contacts above by 1 August 2021.

  1. Which statistics about the accessibility of transport networks do you currently use and for what purpose? What do you feel are the strengths and limitations of these statistics?
  2. How well do you feel the statistics support decision making in this area?
  3. Are there any gaps in the data which prevent you from answering the questions you need to about the accessibility of transport? Do you think any particular groups could be better represented in the existing statistics?
  4. Do you think there is enough information about the statistics for you to be able to confidently use them? Is it clear what the statistics are representing?
  5. Are you aware of any alternative data sources that have the potential to improve transport accessibility statistics?