Transport CommitteeWritten evidence from the City of York Council (DAT 70)

The City of York Council has operated an independent travel training service known as the York Independent Living & Travel Skills (YILTS) Service since November 2004. This service employs a small number of experienced staff who work with a minimum cohort of 15 disabled young people aged 11–19 per officer, to develop a bespoke Independent Travel Plan with identified targets. This plan helps to assist them to move from being dependent upon Council-funded transport towards feeling confident and proficient in the use of public transport (use of the bus, train, walking or cycling or a combination of all four modes); within a 12 month period when travelling in and around the city of York area.

The YILTS Service has supported a total of 52 disabled students between 2010 and 2012 to become independent travellers whilst being able to self-finance all service running costs including staff salaries, administrative and the purchase of council-funded bus passes for a three to 12 month period per student who moves from dependent to independent travel. The YILTS Service spends £50 a month for up to a year for each SEN student on bus passes. This service has to fund a pass which will allow students to travel before 9.00 to get to School or College because the current concessionary bus pass can only be used on their “home” journey after school—a frustrating “double funding”. In addition, in both years, this service has also been able to generate a small amount of monies to offset existing transport costs.

In addition, the YILTS Service has worked to raise the profile of independent travel training in York by working with secondary school staff, voluntary sector organisations and public transport providers. It continues to work with public transport providers in order to develop training opportunities and learning resources for front line staff and managers as well as related teaching support staff.

In 2010, the YILTS Service was short-listed and won the Guardian Newspapers “Public Services” Award 2010—“Mobility and Transport section. In March 2011, it was selected as an example of good practice in terms of promoting transitions into adult life for disabled young people as part of the governments Green Paper on the reform of services for disabled children and young people. In June 2011, it was a runner-up in the OECD’s International Transport Award.”

Please do contact me if you require any further additional information regarding the work of the YILTS Service? I hope we might meet up again at any future events run through the work of CILT in relation to the further improvement of accessible transport for disabled passengers.

February 2013

Prepared 13th September 2013