On 12 July 2022, the International Association for Public Transport (UITP) signed the “Lecco Declaration” with the aim of improving accessibility in public transport. The document defines a framework of core principles regarding accessibility, thus setting the framework for the implementation of effective measures.
The key objectives and principles of the Lecco Declaration are the following:
- To guarantee personal mobility and freedom of movement as a human right;
- To recognise the relationship between mobility and other rights, such as participation, access to education and employment;
- To provide accessible public transport to all, contributing to achieving social and environmental policies and principles, connecting people and places and fostering social and economic development;
- To support the development of new technological solutions, thus reducing and possibly helping to overcome barriers to mobility.
The declaration was also signed by the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology (AAATE) and the European Network of Independent Living (ENIL). These organisations work and collaborate as partners in TRIPS, an EU-funded project focused on improving public transport accessibility for people with reduced mobility by developing new design concepts regarding, for instance, the removal of barriers to mobility in urban areas.
During the accompanying meeting, a variety of European associations and policy makers discussed the importance of implementing smarter, greener, and more accessible transport for all. The approach adopted in the TRIPS project is currently being tested in 7 European pilot cities: Bologna and Cagliari (Italy), Brussels (Belgium), Sofia (Bulgaria), Stockholm (Sweden), Lisbon (Portugal) and Zagreb (Croatia).
UITP’s Secretary General, Mohamed Mezghani, noted that the biggest challenge is to ensure that all transport stakeholders are willing to adopt measures that improve transport accessibility and for these organisations to coordinate their efforts. Thanks to the Lecco Declaration, the focus is now shifting towards users’ needs, helping to educate the sector and improving transport accessibility not only for people with reduced mobility but for everyone. According to UITP, having access to barrier-free mobility does not mean that the sector will be 100% accessible, but rather that it should help people move in cities using multimodal transport services, guiding them towards the best travel choice for the individual.
Engaging with users helps transport carriers, authorities and industry providers understand users’ needs, make informed decisions, draft adequate policies based on direct feedback and ensure that public transport services are functional. Mobility solutions need to be safer, more sustainable, and more inclusive, while reducing air pollution and improving social cohesion and employment.
For more information read the Lecco Declaration here.
Original article published by Intelligent Transport on 18 July 2022.
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