Important legal notice
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Disability - Ensuring that disabilities are no handicap
“Improving access to public transport for people with disabilities.”

The problem

There are no accurate statistics on the number of people across Europe suffering from physical or mental disabilities. Definitions of disability differ from country to country, but it is generally considered to be not less than 10% the population, possibly 20%. The levels in some countries are higher than others, but all face a progressive increase as their populations age. Higher quality and more reliable information is essential, if there is to be equality of access to public transport for the disabled throughout the EU.

EURO‑ACCESS  Ensuring that disabilities are no handicap in public transport


EURO-ACCESS will establish a comprehensive inventory of current legal frameworks, regulations and common practice concerning public transport in the EU. This will be used to identify best practice in the EU in terms of national policies, technical innovation, services provided and their potential application for the employment of people with disabilities. This pan-European review will underpin strategic recommendations for universal disabled access to public transport. These recommendations will be drafted to maximise the opportunities for people with disabilities to move freely and participate fully in society.

Contribution to policy development:

  • Data gathered will improve the quality of the information available on the numbers of people with disabilities across Europe and the disparity in provision of access to public transport.
  • The project analysis of the data gathered will inform policy-makers seeking to harmonise access to public transport across the EU.
  • The demographic analysis of disability will form the basis of recommendations for a European strategy that anticipates increased prevalence of disability among an ageing population.

Project deliverables

  • Midterm progress report – Dec 2007
  • Analysis of the legal framework of accessibility in Europe – Jan 2008
  • Report on user needs and expectations relative to accessible transport – Apr 2008
  • Best practice and innovation, and related cost-benefit analysis – June 2008
  • Report on evaluation methods for transferability – Sept 2008
  • Recommendations for EU policies regarding accessible transportation – Nov 2008
  • Project conference – Nov 2008
  • Principal project recommendations – Nov 2008
  • Final project summary and report on raising public participation and awareness – Dec 2008


  • Set up project website – June 2007, with regular updates
  • Project information leaflets to all European associations dealing with aspects of disability – ongoing
  • An international conference to disseminate results – November 2008

Technical information

Project acronym: EURO-ACCESS
Project’s official full title: European Accessibility of public transport for people with disabilities
Research priority: Quality of life issues relating to handicapped/disabled people (including equal access facilities)
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 044448
Start date: January 2007
Kick off meeting: January 2007
Completion date: December 2008
European Commission scientific officer: Veronique Bernard,

Coordinator: Europe Recherche Transport - ERT
Abbreviated name: ERT
Address: 25 avenue François Mitterrand - 69675 BRON Cedex
Country: France
Tel: +33 04 72 14 24 45
Fax: +33 04 7214 24 58

Scientific coordination: Institut National de Recherche sur les Transports et leur Sécurité
Abbreviated name: INRETS
Address: 2 avenue du Général Malleret-Joinville - 94114 Arcueil
Country: France
Tel: +33 (0)1 47 40 70 00
Fax +33 (0)1 45 47 56 06


Name: Institut National de Recherche sur les Transportes et Leur Securite
Abbreviated name: INRETS
Country: France 

Name: Centre d'Etude et de Recherche en Transports Urbains
Abbreviated name: CERTU
Country: France 

Name: Ann Frye Ltd
Abbreviated name: Ann Frye
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Lunds Universitet
Abbreviated name: LU
Country: Sweden

Name: Transportes, Inovação e Sistemas, S.A
Abbreviated name: TIS-PT
Country: Portugal

Name: Transportøkonomisk institutt
Abbreviated name: TOI
Country: Norway