The Equality Act 2010: ‘We have a duty not to substantially disadvantage a disabled person in relation to a non-disabled person’ and to make reasonable adjustments to supply access where practicable.
As a public body, Transport for London (TfL) must comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). This part of the Equality Act 2010 requires public bodies and organisations to consider any needs of or the impact on people with protected characteristics when carrying out public functions. TfL are continually making improvements across London to promote and help make it more accessible for all and to ensure we consider our communities inclusively we undertake Equality Impact Assessments (EqIA). This process has now been included in how we approach the temporary environment e.g. traffic management and construction. We are working closely with London Councils, associated Highway and Planning teams, contractors and with other cities across the UK highlighting the considerations needed for accessibility during works.
There are 14.1 million registered disabled people in the UK and 80% of those have a hidden disability. Therefore, approximately one in four people that walk or cycle through or adjacent to construction works may be impacted. We are often oblivious to the ‘barriers to access’ we cause when designing and implementing works on and adjacent to the highway. This is mainly due to a lack of awareness of what disability is and looks like.
To help share knowledge, experiences and raise awareness of disability, we have created a forum that brings together all construction and development associated stakeholders.
This includes: highway authorities, developers, contractors, utility providers, traffic management designers and suppliers, diversity & inclusion specialists, community representatives and other interested parties. The sessions include presentations and discussions on a variety of related topics such as best practice approaches and methodologies complimented by case studies. There is a ‘Terms of Reference’ for the forum which all attendees are bound to thus allowing organisations to freely present their work and speak openly on challenging situations.
The forum is about changing attitudes towards disability and is open to anyone wishing to learn more about what they can do to help provide an inclusive environment.