TRANSPORT & ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS
Accessibility of transport is impacting the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights of people in the UK. We partner with international, regional and local groups to campaign for fairer and more equitable transport in the UK.
Protecting London's Public Transport
We’ve joined London TravelWatch on a new campaign to protect London’s public transport by making the case to the UK Government that Transport for London must receive adequate funding in the next finance deal to ensure that service levels of public transport are adequate. We were one of over 80 signatories to this letter, published in the Times, calling on the Chancellor to secure sustainable funding for London’s public transport.
Read more about this work here.
TfL’s commitment to reduce Oyster Auto Top Up limit to £10 is welcome
On 8 January 2021, we wrote to Andy Byford, Commissioner of Transport for Transport for London (TfL). As a charity which monitors and advocates for economic and social rights in the UK, we asked TfL to review the £20 minimum automatic top up amount for Oyster cards using Pay As You Go. The minimum top up amount raises issues of unaffordability, inaccessibility and exclusion. It is not clear how the decision to set the minimum at this amount is in line with human rights standards, including equality and non-discrimination. Find out more here.
As a result of this pressure, TfL have committed to reduce the Auto Top Up limit to £10. But disappointingly the change is likely to be introduced in January 2022, because TfL tell London TravelWatch that they do not have the resources to do it before then. Find out more here.
New report: privatized bus system fails passengers and undermines rights
Privatization of the bus sector in England outside London, Scotland, and Wales has delivered a service that is expensive, unreliable, and dysfunctional, said New York University human rights expert, Philip Alston, in a new report published on 19 of July.
We supported Alston’s team with the research and report, which finds that bus service failures have restricted access to many economic and social rights including work, education, healthcare, and food.
The 38-page report finds that many people have lost jobs and benefits, faced barriers to healthcare, been forced to give up on education, sacrificed food and utilities, and been cut off from friends and family because of a costly, fragmented, and inadequate privatized bus service that has failed them. You can read more here.
Social Rights Alliance North East launches its public transport listening campaign
People on low incomes are less likely to own a car and rely more heavily on public transport, particularly buses. Not being able to afford a bus, metro, or train journey means that people miss out on opportunities, struggle to access services and food, and feel more isolated. People access benefits as a last resort to stay afloat in times of hardship. But, high public transport costs are making it difficult for people to access every day goods and services, and increases inequalities.
SRANE has identified a need to reduce the cost of public transport for those on benefits and asylum support allowance in the North East. We are working to develop a campaign but want to hear more from you on what would be a useful reduction. Help us to understand more about the problems you experience in accessing buses and trains in the region by filling out our survey. You can read our briefing on the issue for more information