Nearly 2,000 wheelchair users and 17,000 other spectators with a range of mobility needs were able to attend this summer’s world athletics events in London, thanks to ECT Charity.
ECT Charity’s accessible shuttle services enabled spectators, irrespective of their mobility needs, to attend the World Para Athletics Championships and the IAAF World Championships between 14th July and 13th August 2017 at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Over both championships, a record total of nearly 19,000 passenger trips were made. Passenger numbers increased as awareness of the service grew, and on Saturday 12th August, the busiest day of both championships, an incredible 2,368 trips were made.
ECT Charity was delighted to be chosen as the accessible shuttle provider for the biggest sporting event of 2017, following its successful delivery of accessible shuttle services for various international sporting events, including the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Invictus Games 2014 and the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Shuttles ran from Stratford Station and Blue Badge Parking to the Stadium and back. Many of the passengers spoke of the difference the accessible shuttle service made to their experience of the championships.
ECT Charity shuttle bus users, Chris and Joy Kempson from Billericay, Essex said: “We would like to thank you so much your service and to all your friendly, helpful, kind and considerate staff. Quite simply, without your shuttle buses we would not have been able to attend any of these great events. We are very grateful, you really made all the difference to us.”
ECT Charity was also involved in transporting some of the 70,000 school children who attended the Para Athletics over two days – a record number of children ever at a sports venue – making this a landmark achievement.
Jane Morland, Welfare Assistant at Kennet School, said: “We travelled with a group of secondary school children to the games. Some of them have physical disabilities and use wheelchairs. Your staff were fantastic with the children, and with their disabilities. Nothing was too much trouble and they were very knowledgeable about the accessibility equipment available on your buses.”
Chris Hipwood, Head of Transport, London 2017, said: “It was a pleasure to work with ECT Charity to provide such a fantastic level of service to spectators for the athletics. Accessibility should always be at the heart of any spectator transport operation and having such professional and safe hands delivering a top-class service day-in, day-out was fantastic – enabling those who benefit from a helping hand to enjoy the Summer of World Athletics without having to worry about their journey to or from the stadium.”
Anna Whitty, CEO of ECT Charity said: “Our vision for inclusion and accessibility for all members of society whatever their transport needs, extends to major sporting events. We are proud to fly the flag for community transport, showcasing what good accessible transport looks like and making a difference to thousands of spectators. A big thank you to our partner community transport operators Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westway who worked alongside us during this memorable event!”