This report describes the results of a programme of ergonomic research undertaken to provide a scientific basis for the generation of regulations concerned with the introduction of accessible taxis in the UK. Accessibility was characterised as the ability to accommodate a broad range of non-disabled and mobility impaired passengers in reasonable safety and comfort. Two critical aspects of the brief were that the research should not be constrained by current vehicle design and that a ‘design-for-all’ specification should be assumed as a goal. However, the brief did not task the researchers with proposing specific design solutions.
Following a literature review and a series of consultation exercises assessment trials were conducted with large sample of mobility impaired participants and a fully adjustable test rig.
The results of these assessments were analysed in detail to provide recommendations on the dimensions and characteristics that would make future taxis accessible to the majority of potential passengers. Further recommendations were proposed on the basis of existing knowledge, best practice and current requirements and guidance.
The research established that the floor height, door height and internal space (floor and head room) of current purpose built taxis represent significant barriers to accessibility.
This report was prepared for the Mobility and Inclusion Unit of Department for Transport.