Centre for Disability Studies

Centre for Disability Studies

Disability and Public Transport: a review of available data

This review and initial analysis was conducted on behalf of the Disability Rights Commission in order to inform public information and policy development on equality of access to public transport for disabled people in Great Britain. CDS staff involved in the project at Leeds were Debbie Jolly, Mark Priestley and Bryan Matthews (for more information please email Mark Priestley ). We would very much welcome feedback or examples of other studies on this topic.


The purpose of the research was to investigate the availability of existing data for secondary analysis on disability and public transport in Great Britain. This included both focused data on travel and transport as well as generic large datasets that may have relevant variables or samples.

In the first phase the aim was to identify the maximum range of available data. Selected datasets were then reviewed in more detail to identify the potential for establishing:

(a) evidence of improvements in public transport access and provision;
(b) evidence of disabled people’s travel and transport usage;
(c) evidence of physical and social barriers to public transport usage;
(d) evidence of avoidance or self-limiting perceptions of inaccessibility;
(e) examples of good practice;
(f) comparisons between disabled and non-disabled people;
(g) comparisons between regions or localities;
(h) potential comparisons of other variables such as rural/urban, gender, ethnicity, etc.;
(i) costs of travel;
(j) evidence of trends over time. The purpose here was to demonstrate worked examples of findings from the agreed sample of selected datasets in order to evaluate the most relevant findings for public report.

Papers available online

Policy Background

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