Bus operators pledge more support for blind and partially sighted passengers

Post date: 
Friday, 19 May 2017

All MEDIA and PHOTOGRAPHERS are invited to a photo opportunity in:
Glasgow Transport Museum, 100 Pointhouse Rd, G3 8RS
at 11.30am on Friday, May 19th
when the Confederation of Passenger Transport Scotland will endorse the RNIB bus charter.

A nationwide campaign to make public transport more accessible for blind and partially sighted people will receive a major boost today [Friday 19 May] when the representative body for Scottish bus and coach operators formally endorses it.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport Scotland will back sight loss charity RNIB’s bus charter at an event in Glasgow’s Transport Museum this morning.

Eight bus operators will formally sign up to the charter today - Stagecoach, Citylink, McGill's, First, Lothian Buses, Xplore Dundee, Prentice Coaches and Whitelaws.

The charter commits transport operators to moves such as approaching bus stops more slowly so people have time to make out the number and route, not pulling away from stops before passengers with sight loss have found a seat, and letting them know when they arrive at their destination.

George Mair, director of the Confederation of Passenger Transport Scotland, said: "CPT is delighted to endorse the RNIB Bus Charter. The bus industry is responsible for three-quarters of all public transport trips in Scotland and operates the government's Concessionary Travel Scheme. As such, it is hugely important that bus services are accessible to all.

“Working with partners such as the RNIB helps highlight elements of the journey experience that may be challenging to people with certain disabilities and the Bus Charter is a valuable tool to help make bus more inclusive, easy to use, and welcoming for the blind and partially sighted.

“The commitment of the bus industry is evidenced by the support pledged by operators such as Stagecoach, First Bus and Lothian Buses and we encourage other operators to sign up."

James Adams, deputy director of RNIB Scotland, said: "Time and technology have moved on since the vehicles on display in Glasgow’s Transport Museum were on the road. We can now ensure we have a fully inclusive bus service for the 21st century that everyone can make use of.

“It's great news that the voice of Scotland’s bus and coach industry is backing our campaign. Blind and partially sighted people rely on buses more than most because they are unable to drive and taxis are too expensive for everyday journeys.

“But many of our members say they sometimes have difficulty in using bus-services. We think if operators are more aware of the problems people with sight loss face they will take that extra bit of time to ensure they can make their journey confidently."

There are around 170,000 people in Scotland with significant sight loss, a number likely to increase in the next two decades due to our ageing population.