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Councils criticised in report on public transport

Councils are not doing enough to help make public transport more accessible, according to a report.

Campaigners said it was unacceptable that fewer than half of Scottish local authorities had explicitly referred to improving transport options for disabled people in their equalities plans.

The report's author, consultant David Hunter, said most councils had not made the link between their new equality duties and the influence they have on local transport services.

While most no longer directly control public transport in their area, they licence taxis and private hire firms and support bus routes, he said, and could use their power more effectively.

Innovative examples show a minority of councils taking an imaginative approach, the report argues.

These included more accessible bus services, door-to-door services and better infrastructure.

The report says everyone benefits from more accessible transport.

David Hunter, of Not for Profit Planning, said: "Many may well see the setting of equalities outcomes as a bureaucratic process, which they are simply required to complete by law.

"However, developing these outcomes gives a important opportunity to develop more joined up thinking about transport's role in delivering a local authority's wider goals."

A Cosla spokesman said: "A local authority's published Equality Outcomes identify the ­priorities for improvement within that area based on evidence of need.

"The fact that a particular issue is not covered in detail does not mean it is not being addressed by a local authority."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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