Leading transport provider in Northern Ireland signs up to RNIB Bus Charter

Post date: 
Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Northern Ireland's leading transport provider, Translink, are first in NI to sign up to our RNIB Bus Charter.

About the Bus Charter

Safe, accessible transport is central to the wellbeing, independence and day to day lives of the over 31,000 people living with sight loss in Northern Ireland. 
We know that bus travel is essential in enabling people living with sight loss to fully participate in local community and to work and live independently. 
RNIB calls on bus companies to work with blind and partially sighted people to remove barriers to independent travel. 
The 13 principles in our RNIB Bus Charter address a range of issues faced by blind and partially sighted people when using public transport, including:
  • Staff awareness 
  • Accessible timetables 
  • Route planning 
  • Priority seating 
  • audio announcements

Dundonald resident and regular Translink customer, Bill Foster who's 69 and lost his sight due to Retinitis Pigmentosa says:

"As a blind person you have to take that step and get out there and try using public transport.
People get to know you and are generally very helpful. I travel a lot by bus into Belfast city centre.
Like anyone else I want to use the service without having to struggle just to get from A to B.
When the staff and drivers talk to me and the journey goes well, I feel like an equal citizen. I welcome that Translink have signed up to RNIB's Bus Charter and look forward to even better bus journeys in the future." 

Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway said:

"We are committed to providing attractive, safe and accessible services for everyone and, in recent years, have made a number of major enhancements to improve the accessibility of our services.
"This has been delivered through new buses and trains, station upgrades and bespoke staff training programmes. Most recently, our new audio-visual information system on the Metro bus network is receiving very positive feedback from all our passengers.
"We've a long-standing constructive relationship with RNIB and value their expertise and guidance. We are pleased to sign-up to the RNIB Bus Charter and continue to work in partnership to meet the needs of blind and partially sighted people." 

Director of RNIB NI, David Galloway added:

"I'm delighted that Translink has signed up to the RNIB Bus Charter and are leading the way in improving the accessibility of public transport. Travelling independently should be treated as a fundamental right." 
"The RNIB Bus Charter was developed to address the main problems raised by blind and partially sighted people when they try to use public transport. It sets out a series of simple principles that, if applied, will support independent travel for blind and partially sighted people."

More about the Bus Charter

Other UK bus companies already signed up to the Charter include, First Bus, Stagecoach, Lothian Buses and Go-Coach Metroline.
To read the full RNIB Buss Charter or to find out more about our campaigning work in Northern Ireland, visit the RNIB NI Campaigns webpages
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