Confidence to Travel – success for new project to get more on public transport

A new project aimed at providing help and encouraging those with hidden disabilities to use public transport has been celebrated and hailed a success.

‘Confidence to Travel’ offers videos and podcasts for those with hidden disabilities so that they feel more confident using public transport. The videos give a realistic experience of what someone with a hidden disability may go through when trying to use a bus or train, and show what help and support is available.

The project is a partnership between Transport for Wales, Conwy Valley and North West Wales Coast Community Rail Partnerships, Tape Music and Film, Creating Enterprise and Department for Work and Pensions.

Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for transport, Lee Waters said: “We want everyone to feel confident, safe, and secure when using public transport, so I am delighted that this new initiative is already proving to be a success in encouraging more people to travel sustainably.”

Mel Lawton, TfW Community Rail Manager, North Wales said: “At TfW we want to encourage more people to use public transport and part of that challenge is understanding the obstacles that some people face. Many people in our communities suffer with non-visible disabilities and mental health issues, and for these people, planning a journey and using public transport can be a daunting task.

“’Confidence to Travel’ aims to support people with these anxieties and the videos identify the challenges they face while taking them through a journey on public transport, step by step, showing what help is available.

“We’ve worked in partnership to deliver this project and welcomed advice from those with hidden disabilities to help when making the videos.”

Nadine Davies, Wales Group Director DWP said: “Our DWP colleagues in North and Mid Wales and Transport for Wales worked together to create these short films aimed at supporting DWP customers with health conditions and disabilities (including autism, learning difficulties) to start using, or return to using public transport, for both work and recreational needs.

“We are rolling out these fantastic training tools across the whole of Wales, to enable Work Coaches to better understand some of the anxieties faced on a daily basis by some of our customers before they even leave the house. Work Coaches can use the tools with customers who experience such public transport anxieties as inspiration and to help build confidence, resilience and motivation.”