Does PSVAR really work for coaches?
The Department for Transport has issued a Call for Evidence into the PSVAR regulation, drafted 25 years ago. I very strongly urge all coach operators, in particular, to respond to it.
To its huge credit, the coach industry has embraced the change, which has included seriously compromising the ergonomics of vehicles to provide a wheelchair lift. But I think it’s time for the reality check which the DfT is asking for; what’s happening currently serves almost no-one.
Nobody supports inclusivity more than your Editor. Every coach operator I know deals with disability on a daily basis, and shares my desire for wheelchair users and others to enjoy coach travel. But I do not think we yet have the technology to do this well, and from the wheelchair usage statistics, it seems wheelchair users agree with me. It’s not just the lift itself, but the roadside reality which prevents it being used.
The industry and the DfT can continue wearing the Emperor’s new clothes or it can demand a pause to PSVAR now so that European coachbuilders can catch up, and create practical, technical solutions which actually meet the needs of wheelchair users and coach operators. I know I will not be thanked by some readers for writing this.
Whether you agree with me or not, I urge you to suspend your apathy and respond to this CfE honestly. The industry has 12 weeks to have a say in what happens next. Make this opportunity count.