Bus/rail Co-ordination – the Equality Act

Both RELBUS and ELCRP have been involved in attempting, and failing, to introduce bus/rail connectivity principally at North Berwick, the only station in East Lothian that is disability friendly. Under The Equality Act all NEW bus/rail connections must be compliant with the Act. There are many pieces of legislation, no longer relevant in East Lothian, which act against co-ordination, such as The Competition and Markets Authority, but by far the biggest is the Equality Act.

The railway infrastructure in the UK is largely non-compliant – how do you get from one side of the track where the car park may be, to the other without going over a footbridge? In Dunbar for example, whilst the new platform there introduced lifts between the platforms (it had to due to Equality legislation), once outside the station the turning circle is too small for a bus to use, and the hill to the High Street is both too steep for a manual wheelchair (legal requirement), and too long, to be compliant. The bus industry however has been compliant for years with low floor buses, wheelchair spaces therein and internal speaking announcements (for the blind) and screens for the deaf.   

In addition to being Chair of RELBUS, Harry Barker is also Chair of East Lothian Community Rail Partnership (ELCRP).

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Harry Barker

Harry Barker is chair of Rural East Lothian Bus Users and the East Lothian Community Rail Partnership. He is a main board Director of Bus Users UK, to represent Scottish interests, but is also their Treasurer. Harry also has an interest in the application of The Equality Act (2010) within the bus industry.