Today [15 February] Coventry University has launched the National Centre for Accessible Transport (NCAT), a research centre dedicated to improving the accessibility of future transport.
The NCAT is a £20m project funded by Motability, a charity supporting the mobility needs of disabled people, and is led by Professor Paul Herriotts, based at the university’s National Transport Design Centre (NTDC).
The centre will also work alongside a number of organisations to form a consortium, members of which already include Connected Places Catapult, Designability, Policy Connect, Research Institute for Disabled Consumers and WSP.
“This is an amazing opportunity for Coventry University to improve transport for disabled people,” said Professor John Latham CBE, vice-chancellor of Coventry University.
“Putting disabled people at the heart of our research will help to make it as relevant and informed as possible so we can hopefully make a real difference in the world.”
According to the university, NCAT’s research will be led by disabled people and will focus on a user-centred approach.
What’s more, the centre will aim to engage with disabled people to better understand their experiences and develop co-designed solutions.
Some of the other key aims of the project include amplifying the voices of disabled people in decision making, collaborating with transport stakeholders and demonstrating good practice to impact and influence policy.
Rachael Badger, director of performance and engagement at Motability, said: “We are delighted to see the launch of the National Centre for Accessible Transport, at Coventry University today.
“Funded by Motability for the next seven years, the centre is led by the experiences of disabled people and brings together a wealth of expertise in transport design to broaden the evidence base on inclusive transport, bringing forward new policy and design solutions.
“We know that being unable to make the journeys they want or need to, has a huge impact on disabled people’s daily lives and more needs to be done to help make transport inclusive.
“I look forward to seeing the positive and meaningful changes the centre will make by working with disabled people, disabled people’s organisations, transport providers and policy makers to make transport accessible for everyone.”
An event to officially launch the centre is taking place today at Coventry University.