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Disabled face discrimination in public transport

Paul Hutchison MP National Party Disability Issues Spokesman

27 October 2005

Disabled face discrimination in public transport

The Clark/Peters Government must act on the recommendations of a Human Rights Commission report and improve access to public transport for the disabled, says National's Disability Issues spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

The report, entitled 'The Accessible Journey', recommends mandatory levels of access for buses, taxis, footpaths, bus stops, stations and other transport infrastructure.

An appendix to the report states that measured against best practice in overseas jurisdictions, 'New Zealand compares very poorly'.

"It is an indictment that after six years of a Labour-led Government disabled people continue to have 'acute and ongoing difficulties using public land transport services'," says Dr Hutchison.

"It is also an indictment on Labour that disabled people feel disempowered in terms of participation in public land transport planning, because their needs are not considered to be a core requirement of the current statutory process."

Dr Hutchison says the Government should at the very least address the report's recommendations for 'core changes to legislation, regulations, policies, procedures for funding arrangements, and improvements that can be achieved in the short term with minimal expenditure'.

ENDS

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