All travellers, but especially people with reduced mobility (PRM), often depend on a car for all their daily trips, due to the barriers they encounter in public spaces and public transport. PRM make up around a third of the European population and include people with disabilities, people with temporal impairments, people with small children, older people, people with heavy or bulky luggage, people with communication problems, etc.
By improving the accessibility of the whole mobility-chain, local and regional authorities can enable people with reduced mobility (PRM) to adopt a less car-dependent lifestyle and use sustainable modes (walking, cycling, and public transport) instead. Thus by improving the accessibility of public spaces and public transport, local and regional authorities can also achieve energy savings in transport. Furthermore, improving the accessibility of public spaces and public transport increases the quality of life and the attractiveness of the city or region for inhabitants and visitors.
The ISEMOA project supported European municipalities, cities, and regions to increase energy-efficiency in transport by improving the accessibility of sustainable door-to-door mobility-chains and thus enabling all citizens and visitors (including PRM) to adopt a less car-dependent life-style. ISEMOA developed tailor-made quality-management-schemes for continuous improvement of the accessibility of the whole sustainable door-to-door mobility-chain in European municipalities, cities, and regions. These ISEMOA quality-management-schemes enable local/regional stakeholders to assess (together with an ISEMOA auditor) the actual state of accessibility in public space and public transport in their area, and to develop strategies and measures for continuously improving accessibility in their area. The ISEMOA quality-management-schemes apply a holistic approach by taking into account:
- the needs of all categories of PRM
- the whole door-to-door mobility-chain
- all kinds of barriers
- all aspects of accessibility (from geographical perspective to service and barriers)
- all steps of the work process necessary for successfully improving accessibility.
- Development of two quality management schemes on accessibility for municipalities, cities, and regions in 13 languages.
- Implementation and testing of the ISEMOA quality management schemes (QMS) in 18 municipalities, cities and regions across Europe.
- 225 ISEMOA auditors from 16 European countries trained to support local and regional stakeholders with the implementation of the ISEMOA QMS.
- Know-how about the importance of accessibility and the needs of PRM, and know-how about the benefits of improving accessibility (including the correlation of accessibility and energy savings in transport) compiled in appealing brochures, available in 13 languages.
- All trained ISEMOA auditors have access to the "Information- and networking-area for ISEMOA auditors" on the ISEMOA website, where they can find all necessary materials and information for the implementation of the ISEMOA QMS.
- There is high demand for common European accessibility standards: There are a lot of different national and sometimes even regional standards existing with respect to the accessibility of public spaces and public transport. This creates confusion and uncertainty and often hinders improvement of accessibility. Many local and regional stakeholders (consultants, governments, PRM-representatives, and industries) stress the fact that there is urgent necessity for Europe-wide harmonised standards.
- It is quite difficult to convince local and regional governments to invest in improvement of accessibility in the current times of economic crisis: Currently most local and regional governments face severe financial problems and enormous budget cuts, and struggle with keeping their daily businesses running. Measures to improve accessibility are rather seen as "nice to have but not essential", and thus the topic of accessibility is not high on the agenda of most local and regional authorities.
- There are almost no data or information regarding the mobility behaviour of people with reduced mobility (PRM) available in Europe: Information regarding the mobility of PRM is usually not collected in European countries. Therefore it is neither possible to analyse the mobility behaviour of PRM nor to compare the mobility behaviour of the overall population with the mobility behaviour of PRM. Further research activities in this field are necessary.