New law for accessibility in France
On February 11th, French Parliament passed a law stressing the equality of chances and full participation within society for disabled people. This law has huge consequences in accessibility of public areas, especially public transport.
The law stipulates that all the stages of a journey in public transport including intermodality should be accessible to people with reduced mobility within a period of 10 years. Moreover, transport authorities will have to elaborate within a period of three years a master plan for accessibility of their networks describing the way they will be made accessible and the implementation stages.
In case of huge technical obstacles, which could be the case of old metro networks, an alternative service has to be provided and funded by the transport authority within three years. For travellers, the cost of these services should not exceed the cost of a journey on mainstream public transport network. Transport Authorities have also to set a process able to collect complaints regarding accessibility matters within a period of three years.
A decree will soon precise some practical aspects of the law but in any case, it will have tremendous impacts on transport authorities role and responsabilities and hopefully, positive effects on public transport image and efficiency.
Updated : April 27, 2005