Research published today by Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) found that while 97% of disabled and older people are concerned about the environment, they experience barriers to making sustainable choices when it comes to transport.
Six in ten respondents (57%) felt excluded from being able to reduce their environmental impact when it came to using modes of transport that produce lower carbon emissions. They cited poor accessibility and lack of staff awareness as barriers to using public transport, while others were prevented from using EVs because of the cost and a lack of accessible charging points.
“It is frustrating. It is partly about cost (e.g an electric car, and electric bike) but also about poor planning with transport interchanges and public transport availability. It’s also a lack of training of transport staff with assistance,” one respondent of the survey said.
The research also looked at views on what businesses, governments or organisations can do to help those with disabilities reduce their impact on the environment.
Public transport was cited by many as an area for improvement in terms of accessibility – with respondents suggesting more electric charging points and ‘talking’ buses are accessible for wheelchair users.
Gordon McCullough, CEO at RiDC, said: “We know that disabled people want to contribute in the fight against the climate crisis, but instead they are being further marginalised by barriers to sustainable practices, infrastructure and products.
“Even at COP26 we’ve seen a disabled person being excluded from entering due to a lack of consideration of their needs. If the UK government is really serious about reducing our impact on the environment, we need to make sure all our citizens are able to engage in sustainable practices.”
The report also found 93% of people said they attempted to be greener at home, 17% felt unable to contribute as much as they would like. Reasons included a lack of recycling information on packaging for visually impaired people, a reliance on pre-prepared ingredients because of difficulties chopping food and the amount of single use plastic used in medical equipment and medication.