With disabled drivers representing five per cent of the driving population, Highways England is introducing new services to break down barriers and help people reliably plan and feel confident about their journeys.
Working with AccessAble, an organisation which provides detailed accessibility information for venues across the UK, Highways England has developed disability access guides for all 114 motorway service areas on its network.
The new guides cover key areas including parking, toilets, petrol stations, shops, and restaurants, with detailed information on everything from staff training and hearing loops, to walking distances and Changing Places.
In addition, the two organisations have worked together to create virtual route guides.
This new type of guide, which uses 360-degree imagery, will enable visitors to ‘virtually’ explore routes to key facilities like accessible toilets and Changing Places, so they can find out exactly what to expect when they arrive.
Highways England Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Julian Horsler, said: “We’re committed to ensuring our disabled customers can travel safely on our roads. We’re making good progress to ensure our roads and services are more accessible and inclusive, and there’s lots more to do."
Dr Gregory Burke, Founder and Chair of AccessAble, added: “It’s clear that Highways England share our commitment to user-led service development and improving access and customer experience for the UK’s 18 million disabled people and carers.
“The new access guides will not only give people all the information they need to plan a trip but also support Highways England and motorway service operators to see how facilities could be improved in the future.”