National Highways sponsors Purple Tuesday

The strategic road network is for the benefit of all road users. Together with our suppliers and partners, we're working to improve access and inclusion

Did you know that we are a Purple Tuesday platinum sponsor?

Purple Tuesday (6 November 2023) is a global social movement working to improve customer experience for disabled people and their families.

The initiative helps organisations improve their relationship with disabled people, raising awareness of accessible issues and solutions.

In 2022, over 6000 organisations got involved in Purple Tuesday across five different countries - the UK, USA, UAE, Pakistan, and Malaysia.

Purple Tuesday logo

Our sponsorship

Purple Tuesday sponsor organisations lead by example with their commitment to deliver greater accessibility to their disabled customers.

Here are some of the ways we're supporting accessibility on our road network:

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower

The Sunflower indicates to roadside and emergency services that you or someone in your vehicle has an impairment which may not be visible.

National Highways traffic officers are often first on scene in an emergency on motorways and major A-roads.

If a traffic officer sees the Sunflower on your vehicle, they’ll ask you about what support you need to help keep you safe.

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower symbol
Find out more about Hidden Disabilities Sunflower

AccessAble guides for Motorway Service Areas

We’ve partnered with AccessAble, a leading provider of venue accessibility information, to develop detailed access guides for all motorway services in England.

Each access guide covers all aspects of accessibility, from parking and toilets, to physical layout, lighting levels and staff training.

Guides are available from the AccessAble website or via the free AccessAble app.

Smiling driver
AccessAble guides help you plan where to take a break with confidence
Visit AccessAble motorway guides

Reaching our disabled customers

We've worked with social media influencers to help us reach disabled and deaf communities with vital safety advice.

With a combined reach of over 1.3 million followers, the influencers helped us to identify gaps in road safety knowledge in their communities.

We worked with them to tailor content from our breakdowns campaigns to fill the gaps and build confidence.

Influencers asked their followers if they were confident they’d know how to stay safe if their vehicle broke down on a motorway.

Before the campaign, 25% of the respondents said yes.

After the campaign, this rose to 53%.

What else are we doing?

We've introduced an SMS service for customers unable to use roadside telephones, through hearing or speech impairment. People can communicate with us by text message in emergencies. We've also introduced a video relay service for Deaf customers who use British Sign Language.

We've also visited Deaf clubs around the country, sharing information about how to contact us and how to undertake safety checks on vehicles.

All these changes and more are making a real difference to our disabled customers. But we know we need to do more to ensure our customers are aware of these services and able to take advantage of them if they need to.

There is much more for us to do to help reduce the transport accessibility gap. This means that disabled people take 38% fewer journeys than able-bodied people.

That's why we're developing an Access and Inclusion Approach - a long term action plan for improving the accessibility our roads. We'll launch this to coincide with International Disability Week (3 to 9 December 2023).