PBA was engaged by Birmingham City Council to produce the ‘Access Strategy for People with Disabilities’. This Access Strategy forms part of Birmingham’s Mobility Action Plan (BMAP), a White Paper developed to help deliver a long term strategy and direction which will guide the development of an integrated sustainable transport system for the city.
The Equality Act (2010) sets out a strategy for ensuring that protected characteristics (age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation) are not discriminated against. Transport schemes developed in Birmingham as part of BMAP will meet the needs of all users irrespective of the presence or otherwise of any of the above characteristics. PBA worked to produce an Access Strategy that acknowledged the needs of different and sometime conflicting user groups.
The specific challenges associated with the sometimes-conflicting needs of different users, (for example the visually impaired, wheelchair users and people with cognitive disabilities) were overcome by PBA through careful and sympathetic liaison with various groups representing a range of different disabilities.
PBA also used reference to documents and guidance approved by disability groups to ensure that people with disabilities were inputting into the process.
The final work culminated in a short text supporting a ‘Table of Considerations’; a checklist including all disabilities and all modes of travel, which can be referred to when developing transport schemes. Importantly, this document will not be a stand-alone guidance, but PBA’s work also included input into all other sections of the BMAP paper to ensure a consistent approach to designing for people with disabilities throughout.