Disabled travellers, as well as their families and/or carers, should consider the consequences of a successful Brexit campaign on their future travel options. The scale of the problem should not be underestimated. According to the Papworth Trust, there are about 12 million people with a disability in the UK, and about two and a half million people currently have a blue badge. It was a European directive which established the rights of the disabled to access travel by air. Assistance through airports, help boarding and getting off planes, and the transport of mobility aids, including powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters, all make it possible for “persons of restricted mobility” to enjoy independent travel. There is no guarantee that these arrangements would continue in the event of Britain leaving the EU, as many British companies are generally unwilling to offer a service which does not create a profit. While bus and rail travel facilities have improved, that progress may also come to a halt.
Another scheme allows UK blue badge holders to enjoy European disabled parking facilities – a godsend when trying to visit tourist attractions or shopping complexes abroad. Again, there is no guarantee that this reciprocal agreement would remain if Britain was not in the EU.