The Equality Act 2010: Impact on disabled people

The Equality Act 2010 is the main piece of domestic legislation governing disabled people’s rights in the UK; it replaced several separate pieces of discrimination legislation. A 2016 House of Lords committee review contained recommendations for improvements to the 2010 Act. In September 2021, the House of Lords Liaison Committee examined whether these recommendations had been implemented. The committee’s 2021 report is due to be discussed in the House of Lords on 21 June 2022.

The Equality Act 2010: Impact on disabled people

Travel disruption: Airports and ferry ports

UK airports and ferry ports have faced widespread disruption in recent months, including mass cancellations of flights and long delays. Airline operators, unions and the government have spoken of various causes for this travel disruption. This article looks at recent examples of disruption and what has been said about the potential reasons behind it.

Travel disruption: Airports and ferry ports

Queen’s Speech 2022: Transport

The next Queen’s Speech, in which the Government will set out its legislative programme for the new parliamentary session, will be delivered on 10 May 2022. The speech is expected to include several measures concerning transport. These include: strengthening the regulation of payment of seafarers; continuing with the development of high speed rail; establishing a new rail body; regulating the sale of e-scooters; and providing for driverless cars.

Queen’s Speech 2022: Transport
  • In Focus

    Changes to the Highway Code on using a mobile phone while driving: regret motion

    The Government has recently broadened the scope of Highway Code rule 149, which now makes it an offence to use a hand-held mobile device for almost any purpose while driving, not just to make and receive calls and texts. The House of Lords is due to debate a regret motion on the changes. The motion raises concerns about their scope and the “piecemeal” way the Highway Code was being amended.

  • In Focus

    Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Bill

    The Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Bill would amend sections of the Equality Act 2010 relating to disabled people’s use of taxis and private hire vehicles. It aims to reduce discrimination against disabled people and address the barriers they face when accessing taxi and private hire vehicle services by creating new offences aimed at drivers and operators of such vehicles in Great Britain.

  • In Focus

    New code of practice for private parking facilities

    The Private Parking Code of Practice is intended to improve drivers’ experience of private parking facilities. It includes guidance on a number of matters, for example caps to penalty charges and how they can be appealed, signage and professional standards. Although welcomed by many for its potential impact on drivers, concerns have been raised about whether the Government has adequately assessed the impact on the operators of private parking facilities.

  • In Focus

    Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill

    On 4 March 2022, the House of Lords is due to debate the second reading of the Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill. The bill would oblige taxi and private hire vehicle licensing authorities to submit information about refusals, suspensions and revocations of driver licences to a national database. Licensing authorities would also have to check the database before making licensing decisions.

  • In Focus

    Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Bill

    The Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Bill is a private member’s bill introduced in the House of Commons by Peter Bone (Conservative MP for Wellingborough). It aims to reverse a 2014 decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union that expanded the types of vehicles required to have compulsory third-party motor insurance. The bill received Government support in the Commons and the Labour Party did not oppose it. Its second reading in the House of Lords is scheduled to take place on 18 March 2022.

  • In Focus

    Changes to the Highway Code: regret motion

    In December 2021, the Government published proposed changes to the Highway Code which it said would improve safety for vulnerable road users, particularly cyclists, pedestrians, and horse riders. On 27 January 2022, the House of Lords is due to debate a regret motion on the proposals. The motion expresses concern that the Government has failed to sufficiently educate the public about them.

  • In Focus

    Electric scooter regulation: should the law be changed?

    According to UK law, electric scooters can only be used on private land. However, the Government is considering whether the law should be changed. As part of this consideration, the Department for Transport introduced legislation in July 2020 to enable rental e-scooter trials to take place on public roads and cycle lanes across the UK. The Government awaits the outcome of these trials before making a decision on whether to change the law.

  • In Focus

    Full steam ahead: a century of railway governance

    This year marks 100 years since the Railways Act 1921, also known as the ‘Grouping Act’, came into force. The act reorganised ownership of the railways, merging 120 railway companies into four regional groups. These groups became known as the ‘big four’. Fast forward 100 years, and the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail is set to change the organisation and ownership of the railways once more. This article explores these changes.

  • In Focus

    The Integrated Rail Plan

    On 16 December 2021, the House of Lords is scheduled to hold a short debate on a motion tabled by Lord Berkeley (Labour). He will ask the Government “how the Integrated Rail Plan will deliver the (1) capacity, and (2) regional connectivity, sought for the Northern Powerhouse area”. This article provides background information on the plan, a brief overview of the plan itself and a survey of the reaction it has received.

  • In Focus

    Extraordinary funding for Transport for London

    In response to a revenue shortfall attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government and the Mayor of London agreed three consecutive short-term funding packages for Transport for London worth more than £4 billion. The latest of those agreements expires on 11 December 2021. Concerns have been raised that without further funding, London’s transport infrastructure could see a “managed decline”, with the possibility of cancelled bus routes and tube lines closed.