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Government launches student competition to help disabled commuters

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer wants to make public transport more accessible for deaf and blind commuters in the UK with a competition for students called ‘All Aboard’.

The All Aboard competition challenges school children aged 14 to 18 to make buses more user-friendly for disabled users. It is run by the government-funded Transport Systems Catapult organisation.

Students can enter individually or in groups of up to five, with a variety of prizes available to winners – including a cash prize of £1,000. The winners will also get the opportunity to work with local businesses, see their idea turned into a product and have a tour of the House of Parliament with Baroness Kramer.

The minister acknowledges the difficulties people with these disabilities have to endure on a daily basis. This competition forms part of the government’s Accessible Britain Challenge that encourages communities to be more ‘inclusive and accessible’.

Kramer said at a school in Milton Keynes: “We want to tap into the creativity we know is alive and kicking in our classrooms to find ways in which we can make local transport more accessible. Disabled people have the same rights as anyone else to access public transport, but there remain obstacles. I am open to any ideas that could make buses more user-friendly, for the many passengers who rely on them.” 

The Transport Minister is aware technology that provides audio visual information on buses is already available, but research has found the high costs involved are making certain bus companies in parts of the country reluctant to use it.

She hopes the competition will give birth to ideas, “that can be turned into cost effective systems for keeping passengers informed”.

Do you believe that you, your children, or pupils could have the solution to this problem? Head to the All Aboard competition page if you answered yes.

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