Supporting a design-driven approach to social inclusion and accessibility in transport

This paper presents research into the area of public transport and accessibility, addressing the support of practitioners in achieving socially inclusive solutions to the mobility issues of diverse populations. For decades social policy has been underpinned by a stereotyping of populations into simplified sub groups: old, young, disabled, etc. and thus solutions often fail to properly address the richness of human variability. These shortcomings are often ‘managed’ through the ability for people to adapt, however, this is not a sustainable way in which to build a socially inclusive transport infrastructure. A software design tool called HADRIAN is presented. This tool provides a means to evaluate designs for their physical inclusiveness through the use of a virtual user group. This virtual user group is the embodiment of over 100 people that can be used to assess an existing or proposed design and to gain an understanding of what may be done to improve its accommodation. A case study exploring the use of the tool is described together with work in exploring the correlation of the individuals within the HADRIAN system with data on the UK population as a whole and how the inclusion or exclusion of individuals with specific characteristics can be used to inform a more representative view of the inclusiveness of a design.