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The Mayor and TfL set out plans to make London transport fairer

Transport for London (TfL) has published an ambitious new customer plan to help create a fairer, more accessible and inclusive transport network for everyone. The new plan, Equity in Motion, commits to more than 80 new and ambitious actions to further build on TfL and the Mayor’s ongoing efforts to create a fairer and safer London.

The wide-ranging commitments in the plan cover key areas for improvements around accessible travel, keeping customers safe, understanding customers, affordable travel, inclusive information and connecting Londoners.

The plan commits to introducing an innovative bridging device across the London Underground network by the summer for stations, which are designated step-free from street to train but where a small gap persists between train and platform. More than 45 mini ramps are now being introduced across the network and this follows a TfL trial in 2022 on the Jubilee line. The device was designed to provide additional support and reassurance for customers, with TfL research showing that 63 per cent of respondents would be more likely to travel with this device.

New research will also be carried out to understand the needs of a range of different communities across London and TfL will create a new inclusive Design Centre of Excellence. TfL will also be reviewing its approach to translating communications into different languages, including British Sign Language, increasing the number of step-free access stations, expanding the Project Guardian school sessions on sexual harassment and making it easier for people to report crime, antisocial behaviour, discrimination, and safety concerns. These improvements, some of which are underway already, will help make everyone feel welcome on the transport network, enable more people to travel confidently and with ease.

With almost a third of the capital's population living in poverty and more than 15 per cent reported as being disabled, millions of Londoners face barriers to using public transport. Factors including poor street environments, toxic air and road danger negatively impact all Londoners, but disproportionately affect marginalised groups.

These bold new commitments are part of a number of actions the Mayor is taking to achieve the ambition of his Transport Strategy and move London forward safely, inclusively and sustainably. The plan focuses on creating an equitable customer experience, protecting, and enhancing connectivity, keeping travel affordable and reducing health inequalities and includes a number of short-term and long-term commitments.

Several actions will be delivered this year, while others will be implemented by 2030, subject to Government funding. The plan’s commitments include:

Accessible Travel

  • Increasing the proportion of step-free Tube stations. Since Sadiq became Mayor the proportion of step-free access Tube stations has increased from a quarter to a third, this new plan will increase this to half
  • Introducing mini ramps to cover the gap between the train and platform at all London Underground platforms that are step-free to train
  • Launching an innovation challenge aimed at improving travel for disabled people
  • More dedicated spaces for wheelchair users and buggies created on Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City line trains
  • Conducting a feasibility study into how TfL can increase customer toilet provision
  • Install priority seating moquettes to 1,000 Routemaster buses by 2025
  • Deliver a new equality impact assessment (EqIA) awareness programme and supporting TfL staff with training 

Keeping Customers Safe

  • Expand TfL’s Project Guardian school sessions on sexual harassment to 28,000 Year 9 students
  • Make it easier for customers to report crime, antisocial behaviour and safety concerns, including adding reporting to TfL’s website and TfL Go app by 2026
  • Training staff to call out and help reduce all forms of harassment and to support victims
  • Use safety audits to gather data to inform how to design public spaces to improve the safety of all of our customers including women, girls and gender-diverse people
  • A series of innovation challenges to look at reducing discrimination and improving safety on buses and escalators
  • Continue to engage with communities on streetscape design schemes, including bus infrastructure such as bus stop bypasses

Understanding Customers

  • Creation of a new inclusive Design Centre of Excellence
  • Research to understand the needs of a range of communities in London, including LGBTQ+ people  
  • A review of TfL’s approach to customer and stakeholder engagement to ensure a diverse range of voices are heard
  • Frontline staff to complete disability equality training

More Affordable Travel

  • A new travel concession entitling eligible care leavers to half‑price bus and tram travel
  • A study of how cost of travel affects people with protected characteristics, to inform TfL’s investment priorities

Inclusive Information

  • Self-service to be introduced to Dial-a-Ride to enable booking, amendment and cancellation of trips
  • A review of TfL’s approach to translating communications into different languages, including British Sign Language
  • Virtual tools to be added to the TfL Go app and website to help customers better understand the accessibility of the transport network
  • Introduce hundreds of new real-time information displays for bus stops and shelters
  • A review of wayfinding at interchanges to ensure directions meet diverse needs

Connecting Londoners

  • Inclusivity audits at stations, as well as near developments
  • Research to help build understanding of barriers to walking across protected characteristic groups
  • Electric cycle hire to be expanded, particularly in areas of high deprivation

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is for everyone and I am committed to making our transport network as fair and accessible as possible so that every Londoner can make the most of our fantastic city.

“TfL is committed to removing the barriers that people face when using the transport network and enabling more people to travel spontaneously, seamlessly and easily.  Some of these vital improvements are already underway and there are many more to come, helping us to continue building a better, fairer London for everyone.”

Alex Williams, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at TfL, said: “Our vision is a London where everyone can move around the city safely, inclusively and sustainably, and access to public transport is a fundamental component in making this happen. While we have taken steps to make our network more accessible, we know that much more needs to be done. Equity in Motion draws on the experiences and viewpoints of a range of Londoners, prioritising the areas they want to see improved to create tangible actions that drive forward change and help make London a truly fair city.”

TfL has already begun work on many of the plan’s longer-term actions, including improving HGV safety standards, launching new cycle lanes and reducing road danger across London. Other longer-term actions include making further improvements to toilets across the network.

Agnes Fletcher, Member of TfL’s Independent Disability Advisory Group, said: “We were pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Equity in Motion plan for London. 

“All Londoners will benefit from the change it promises, including more affordable travel and cleaner air. And more people with impairments, with long-term health conditions and who are neurodivergent will be able to use the transport network, and to reach more of London safely and comfortably. 

"Disabled people are part of every demographic and every community. The barriers we face just in getting around - to work, to access healthcare, to see family and friends, to access all the wonderful things London has to offer - can be reduced or removed by taking enabling actions like those in Equity in Motion. The result will be a cleaner, greener, more active and enjoyable London - where everyone feels as though they matter."

Emma Vogelmann, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Transport for All, said: “These new commitments are really encouraging for the 1.2 million Londoners who are disabled, and are a positive approach to addressing some of the most significant barriers we face when getting around the capital. 

“Access barriers for travelling in London include a lack of step-free stations, few priority seats on buses, and missing or inaccessible travel information - all of which can conspire to making our journeys longer or more painful, or even stop us getting beyond the front door. We're pleased to see TfL commit to making changes to tackle these barriers. Coproducing schemes with the disabled community will be vital to ensure the measures in this plan can bring about real change.”

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