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

Project Update

The deadline has now passed for written submissions, but we will continue to meet with stakeholders until the end of August. In the Autumn, we will review the evidence we have received and identify issues highlighted by our research and user engagement. We will discuss our findings and recommendations for improvements with statistical producers and then we will disseminate our findings more widely. Contact the Project Lead, Louisa McCutcheon, for more information about this.