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Info for disabled travellers on new website

Oct 1 2012 Posted by Laura Canning

A new website has been launched to help travellers with access issues and disabilities use public transport in the UK.

Called Dtrekkers, the site invites users to add information about the usability and disability access of the country’s public transport network, based on their own experiences. Other users can then plan a journey on the site to see first-hand information on things such as wheelchair-friendliness, facilities and access at stations and stops around the UK.

Dtrekkers has a route planner, editable pages and Google Maps. It currently focuses on railway routes and stations, with plans to roll out other forms of transport as it grows.

Planning a journey from York to Manchester, the site shows that York station is manned 24 hours a day, that there is a 15m shallow gradient ramp from the long stay car park to the station, and that the station’s two subways have both lift and stair access. There is also a list of local taxi companies which have wheelchair-friendly cabs.

Arriving at Manchester (Piccadilly Street), Dtrekkers tells the user where the lifts are and to which platforms, where the accessible toilets are and, like York, gives a list of wheelchair-friendly taxi companies.

The site was co-founded by Valerie Richards, who is chair of the Brighton Community Transport group and who runs a company which gives training to transport providers to help them be compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (1996).

‘As a wheelchair user myself, I know that many like me face barriers, both physical and emotional, to travelling around the country,’ Valerie said. ‘Our website seeks to harness the voice of the community to not only help eliminate some of the worry and stress when planning and making journeys, but to get more people using public transport overall.’