Coventry University is opening the National Centre for Accessible Transport with the aim to make future and existing modes of transport accessible to all.
A UK first in inclusive transport, NCAT is a £20 million project funded by Motability, the charity, and is led by Professor Paul Herriotts, based at the university’s National Transport Design Centre, working alongside a number of organisations that form a specialist consortium.
Consortium members are Connected Places Catapult, Designability, Policy Connect, Research Institute for Disabled Consumers, and WSP.
NCAT’s research and agenda will be led by disabled people and will build upon the user-centred approach successfully developed at NTDC. The centre aims to make transport accessible for all by engaging with disabled people to better understand their experiences and co-design solutions; amplifying the voices of disabled people in all decision making; collaborating widely with transport stakeholders; and demonstrating good practice and impact to influence policy, with innovation at the heart of its work.
Motability’s research shows that disabled people in the UK currently make 38% fewer journeys than non-disabled people – a figure that hasn’t changed in the last decade. It says this impacts disabled people’s access to healthcare, employment, education and social activities.
NCAT will work with disabled people, disability organisations, transport providers and policy makers to undertake research and develop solutions, making sure all modes of future travel systems (including road, rail, air and sea) have accessibility for disabled people at the heart of their development and delivery. The aim is for NCAT to provide disabled people with increased independence, travel confidence, and an improved quality of life.
NCAT will be located in the National Transport Design Centre, a national hub for future transport design and development and a facility operating within the Research Centre for Future Transport and Cities at Coventry University. The centre has historic and regional links to the transport industry, with organisations such as Jaguar Land Rover and Horiba MIRA. NTDC has key research strengths around user-led and inclusive transport design and is highly integrated in an inter-disciplinary, transport research community.
(Picture – Coventry University)