TRANSPORT minister Trudy Harrison MP visited the West Midlands to find out about work being done to make the public transport network safer for women and girls.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) bosses met the minister, who is leading the Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls agenda, to report back interim findings following a series of discussions on the issue.
The visit follows the appointment earlier this year of West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) chief executive Laura Shoaf and TfWM interim managing director Anne Shaw as the government’s first Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Transport Champions.
Laura, who also chairs the national Urban Transport Group, and Anne have been speaking to passenger groups, campaign groups, charities, police and the transport industry to look at measures to improve safety on public transport networks.
This includes a focus on making it more difficult for perpetrators to commit crimes in the first place.
By January 2022 the Transport Champions will provide the Department of Transport with a set of recommendations on how safety can be improved.
The Minister said: “Far too often we hear harrowing accounts of women experiencing violence and harassment when they are simply going about their daily lives. It’s unacceptable and we will take every action to put an end this disturbing trend.
“I’m grateful to the Violence Against Women and Girls Transport Champions for giving victims a voice, and although there are already many fantastic initiatives underway, our work will not stop until everyone feels safe and confident on public transport.”
Laura said: “It is completely unacceptable that women do not always feel safe on our country’s transport systems.
“Women should feel they can take up opportunities such as in work, training and education and connect with friends and family without feeling threatened.
“Through our extensive engagement with a wide range of different organisations, we are gathering best practice examples which can make a real change on the ground to better ensure everyone feels safer on our transport networks.”
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