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Annual Report 1999
Appendix A - European Charter
EUROPEAN CONFERENCE OF MINISTERS OF TRANSPORT
CONFÉRENCE EUROPÉENNE DES MINISTRES DES TRANSPORTS
CHARTER ON ACCESS TO TRANSPORT SERVICES
This Charter was adopted by the ECMT Council of Ministers
It underlines the political commitment in Europe to ensuring that all new transport infrastructure should be constructed to take into account the needs of people with disabilities.
1. The number of disabled people is growing
Disabled people make up a significant and growing part of Europe's population. With the ageing population, this number will increase substantially over the next 50 years. By 2020, there will be twice as many people over 65 in Europe as there were in 1960.
2. Everyone must have an opportunity for independent living
It is an unequivocal and agreed political objective to create a Europe in which all citizens, regardless of disability or age, have the opportunity for independent living. To achieve this, public buildings, the transport systems and infrastructure must be barrier-free.
3. New infrastructure must take account of the needs of people with disabilities
There are many new transport and infrastructure projects being planned or constructed in Europe. The lifetime of transport equipment and infrastructure can be extremely long and projects being considered now will remain in service well into the next millennium. It is therefore essential that these are built to meet the needs of disabled people. In any case, improvements in accessibility add to the system's quality and usually benefit all travellers.
4. Governments must ensure access
All governments have a clear responsibility to ensure that these projects are designed and constructed to the highest standards of accessibility.
5. Accessibility principles must be followed
Fundamental principles applying to any project must include:
6. Public funding will be conditional
Projects will be monitored for compliance with accessibility principles. Continued public funding will be made conditional on achieving satisfactory progress with the inclusion of access features.
Published 11 December 2000
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