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Technology to Support Independent Travel in the UK
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Professor Phil Blythe
Edwards SJ, Partington D, Matthews B, Blythe PT
Proceedings of the ICE - Municipal Engineer
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Powerful economic and social arguments exist for enhancing transport accessibility for older and disabled people, and these are reinforced through legislation and demographic trends towards an ageing society. While much effort has focused on modifications to physical infrastructure, vehicles and services to enhance their accessibility, the emergence of new technologies offers the potential for further accessibility improvements. This paper explores the role of new technologies, commonly referred to as intelligent transport systems, with particular emphasis on information services and their access through portable devices. It proceeds to discuss how new technologies, and their appropriate application and implementation for the benefit of older and disabled transport users, can be optimised through better stakeholder engagement. Making the best use of technology for enhancing transport accessibility is a challenge, but one that if met, offers enormous scope to improve mobility, health and wellbeing, not only for disabled and older people, but for all members of society.
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