DSC-161 SDG 11.2.1- Proportion of the population that has convenient access to public transport disaggregated by age group, sex, and persons with disabilities

The aim of the project will be to improve the evidence base around the transport barriers mobility impaired people face in accessing to services. The project will seek to augment the access to services tool with data related to accessibility from administrative and web sources, but also derived from aerial imagery (e.g. dropped kerbs and tactile paving) or sources that might indicate how busy the public transport system is at different times of the day.

The initial aim of this project is to work up a proposal ahead of the Inter-Ministerial Group for Disability meeting on the 18/03/2019.

Team members

The need

Addressing burning injustices remains a priority for the Prime Minister, and there is a strong policy imperative to coordinate work happening on disability and see where government can go further. The evidence base on disability is stark and shows the importance of addressing disparities.

The project follows a commission from a cross-government roundtable chaired by No. 10 that discussed the evidence on the barriers that disabled people face and explored how government can improve its approach to disabled people.

The Head of No 10 Policy Unit asked departments to provide thoughts on the opportunities to improve a cross-government approach on disability. Transport barriers were one area highlighted, with ONS (PPA) identifying access to service as an area that should be measured.

The topic also overlaps with SDG indicator 11.2.1: Proportion of population that has convenient access to public transport, by sex, age and persons with disabilities. This is one we are not currently measuring nationally and which DfID has requested support on.


  • The work will help strengthen the evidence base around policy for disabled people in response to a cross-government policy initiative. This is something that will take some time to achieve so a critical aspect will be to identify data gaps and limitations in data coverage, to guide activity, and identify alternative sources, to help close these. We would seek to work with DfT and DfID as part of the project.
  • The work will augment and reuse know-how developed by the Campus (a2s tool) but also seek to exploit novel alternative sources (e.g. aerial imagery) to obtain further information on transport barriers.

Data science

  • The project will reuse and further develop the access to service work to allow consideration of accessibility and other barriers to use by mobility impaired people.
  • The project will investigate a variety of source of data to object accessibility information including admin sources (e.g. NaPTAN accesssibilty data), the web (e.g. railway station accessiblity), aerial imagery (e.g. to identify dropped kerbs and tactile paving), web-apis (e.g. to indicate congestion).


  • The project would be in support of PPA / PEAT and their cross-government engagement on this area through Cabinet Office.
  • Potentially, the SDG team and DfID would also be stakeholders.

Code and outputs


  • January 2019 Project started
  • March 2019 A milestone
  • August 2019 Another milestone
  • Future Estimated delivery

Further information

Please contact datasciencecampus@ons.gov.uk for more information.


  • No updates yet.


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