Ealing Community Transport (ECT), the UK’s leading provider of transport solutions for those with mobility difficulties who are unable to access public transport services, is set to transport its 10, 000th spectator to the Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham this Saturday.
Earlier this year, ECT was approached by England 2015 to provide accessible transport on match days, following its successful delivery of accessible shuttle buses for both the Olympics and Paralympics during London 2012, and the Invictus Games.
Over the past six weeks ECT has led a partnership of six community transport operators to deliver an accessible shuttle service that has helped rugby fans with mobility difficulties attend world cup matches at both the Olympic Park and Twickenham Stadium.
To date, ECT has helped spectators make over 9,400 journeys, including a staggering 917 journeys including 55 wheelchair users on the service’s busiest night so far on October 25th at Twickenham.
As awareness grows of the accessible shuttles, ECT is seeing an increasing demand for the service, and will carry their ten thousandth passenger over this RWC final weekend.
Shuttle bus user, Julia Lock, spoke of the difference the accessible shuttle service has made to her experience of the RWC: “I suffer from severe asthma and had been very concerned about the walk to Twickenham as exercise exacerbates it. I had not been aware of the availability of the service and by the time I got from the car to the Park and Ride area I was very wheezy. One of your accessible shuttle drivers invited us to use the service which was a lifesaver for me. Everyone was incredibly lovely and welcoming. Your service made my day, as without your help I would have been too unwell to have enjoyed the game.”
Diane Morgan, Project Manager, said: “We have been particularly busy and we are seeing passengers who are already tired arriving by public transport. You can see the relief on their faces when they realise we are waiting to take them right to the stadium for the final part of their journey.”
Anna Whitty, CEO of ECT, said: “‘Our accessible shuttles are an important part of transport provision for spectators. I am very proud of the difference we are making to our customers World Cup experience, bringing them right up to the stadium inside the road closures. We are raising the profile of community transport and accessibility which will be part of the tournament’s lasting legacy.”