New CIHT podcast: The importance of mobility rights

19th Oct 2023

People with different abilities experience transport in different ways, Designing and providing inclusive transport services requires meeting the needs of the elderly and disabled.

Get ahead with CIHT Membership

Join other savvy professionals just like you at CIHT.  We are  committed to fulfilling your professional development needs throughout your career

Find out more

In the latest episode of CIHT’s podcast “Transport Talks” we explored the topic of mobility rights with Bert Bailie, CIHT Technical Champion and Chair of the Inclusive Mobility and Transport Advisory Committee (IMTAC) in Northern Ireland.  

We talked about the importance of designing and delivering a transport system that accounts for the needs of older and disabled people and the key actions we, as professionals, can take to better understand their needs. 

Photo of Bert Bailie, CIHT Technical Champion and Chair of IMTAC Northern Ireland 


CIHT’s podcast series is now available on (and on other podcast platforms - just search your favorite podcast provider and we should be there): 

A green circle with white lines in it

Description automatically generatedA colorful logo with lines

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceA purple circle with a white logo

Description automatically generated 


When we design transport services a key element to consider is the experience of the end user: how easy it is for people to hop on a bus, how clear it is for drivers to see a traffic light or how easily and accessibly pedestrians can   locate crossing spaces.  

People with different abilities experience the same environment in very different ways. Making sure that the requirements of elderly and disabled people are considered and met is a crucial component of designing and delivering transport services that are inclusive. 

In the September/October 2023 issue of CIHT’s Transportation Professional magazine, Bert said:  

"It’s vital to be aware that people can be disabled by what we do. People who have a disability are often further disabled by barriers created by infrastructure or services."

For example, some people find it difficult to climb even the smallest steps, or a street without a guard can be problematic for people with vision impairment; a parked car on the footway forces them to step onto the carriageway, which could be unsafe. 

When promoting modal shift, transport experts need to consider how well, if at all, individuals with disabilities can transition to sustainable or active travel, as well as how to develop services to make this transition possible. A successful example, mentioned in the podcast, is the 2019 CIHT Major Project Award Winner, “Glider Bus- Belfast Rapid Transit”. You can find the project here.  




Key quotes from the podcast 

Those voices (of older and disabled people) are now becoming better represented, but there is a danger that we can exclude many people from consultations...

During COVID everyone faced massive changes, but older and disabled people were disproportionately impacted… using public transport was a risk that many would not, or could not, take, thus increasing their isolation, particularly in rural communities were bus and public transport services reduced to a bare minimum.

There are four key principles that we need to contemplate as professionals: first to put deaf, older and disables people at the center of decision making stages, the second would be ensuring a shift in our culture to ensure we appreciate the contributions that these people can make to society, ensure that private and public investment contributes to an accessible and inclusive society...and finally making sure that end-to-end journeys are straightforward and accessible



In the podcast, Bert mentioned one of the recommendations from the latest Imtac paper “ A new approach to travel, our streets and our places” which calls for all those involved with creating strategies, policies and services relating to travel, streets and places to undertake disability and equality training- that include undertaking a journey led by a disabled person, so we can all understand barriers and challenges.  

Education is crucial for professionals to understand how to build better spaces that meet everybody’s needs. 

CIHT is alco committed to provide resources to support professionals in learning about and understanding disability needs:  

CIHT learn course “Understanding Disability” can be found here 

CIHT Policy briefing: Safer and more inclusive walking and wheeling for everyday journeys can be found here.  



Take action: Record your CPD 

CPD is defined as any activity that provides new knowledge or skills that help you to achieve your professional development goals or has otherwise helped you to develop as a highways and transportation professional 
Plan, record and manage your CPD for free at CIHT Learn. 
Need help with getting the most out of your CPD?  Don't worry CIHT can support you.  Access CIHT’s CPD Guidance here. 



Help and Support 

If you have any further questions regarding CPD please email 


Comments on this site are moderated. Please allow up to 24 hours for your comment to be published on this site. Thank you for adding your comment.

{{item.AuthorName}} {{item.AuthorName}} says on {{item.DateFormattedString}}:


Get ahead with CIHT Membership

Join other savvy professionals just like you at CIHT.  We are  committed to fulfilling your professional development needs throughout your career

Find out more