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RNIB works with Exeter City Council on design of flagship accessible bus station

In a major step forward for accessible transport, Exeter City Council is working directly with RNIB to create a “showcase of what inclusive public realm development could look like” in the form of a brand-new Bus Station for Exeter.

David Bartram, director of place for Exeter City Council, said he would like the proposed new bus station, currently in its planning stage, to “be a flagship example of what can be achieved for visually impaired people”. The planning team has been asked to ensure the bus station is designed with accessibility at the forefront, to make life as easy as possible for people with sight loss.

David has previously championed RNIB’s Clear Streets Charter and, since 2018, has been working with Steve Hyde, RNIB’s Regional Campaigns Officer for the South West, to improve accessibility. David brought Steve in to help advise on the new bus station at the start of the project.

Steve‘s first-hand knowledge of accessibility for people with sight loss is a driving force behind this project; he is already visiting the team in Exeter on a regular basis.

Steve said:

"My role as Regional Campaigns Officer is to influence change in society so that visually impaired people can live a life equal to that of their sighted peers, this project will help to enhance the experience of using public transport and I know that the completion of this project will help to achieve that goal."

He has already been able to offer numerous ideas that the construction team have been quick to take on board. These include colour-coding the totems that symbolise each bus bay, adding bright yellow bands to vending machines and alcove seating to increase visibility, wayfinding dots on the ground along the full concourse and to each door, and LED displays for bus times and gate numbers.

We are grateful to Exeter City Council, Kier construction and the planning teams they’re working with for their help and will keep our supporters updated as the project progresses.