Commission welcomes transport accessibility target
Human Rights Commission
11 December 2007
Commission welcomes transport accessibility targets
The inclusion of accessibility targets in the New Zealand Transport Strategy discussion paper is a significant milestone towards implementing fully accessible public transport, the Human Rights Commission said today.
Sustainable Transport, a discussion paper to update the New Zealand Transport Strategy includes targets to put into effect the key objective of improved access and mobility.
Chief Commissioner, Rosslyn Noonan said today the target of 2025 for implementation of accessibility targets is one of the most significant features of the revised Transport Strategy.
“This level of clear commitment to fully accessible public transport is a first for New Zealand. The improvements will deliver enormous benefits to all New Zealanders and will make a real difference in particular to the lives of older and disabled people.”
However, the Commission cautioned, with so many other legitimate transport issues being raised for discussion, such as congestion and emissions, accessibility could too easily be overlooked.
“The revised Transport Strategy provides a real opportunity to ensure accessibility is a core component of all future transport planning. It is vital that New Zealanders, through the consultation process, insist this happens.”
“Accessibility is critical to achieving all the objectives of the New Zealand Transport Strategy. The Commission encourages disabled and older people and their organisations in particular to take this opportunity to ensure that transport accessibility is guaranteed,” Ms Noonan said.
In 2005, the Commission published The Accessible Journey, the report of the Commission’s Inquiry into Accessible Public Land Transport in New Zealand. The report highlighted the barriers that disabled people faced in trying to use public transport and included recommendations on how to improve public transport accessibility. Key to those recommendations was the development and implementation of National Accessibility Design Performance Standards.
“The Commission is pleased to see direct reference to The Accessible Journey and its recommendations in the revised Transport Strategy. The commitment that the recommendations ‘will be implemented progressively by 2025’ is particularly heartening,” Ms Noonan said.