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Plans launched to make bus services more accessible

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced today (October 29) a new partnership to ensure that buses around the UK are more accessible for disabled passengers. 

The Real Time Information Group, who supports good practice in the use of communications technology on public transport, will work with the DfT to allocate £2m to small bus operators for audible and visible on-board information.

The government has said that with around 50% of public transport journeys made on buses, they hope that this funding will ensure that disabled passengers can board buses with greater confidence.

This funding coincides with the launch of the ‘It’s everyone’s journey’ campaign, which aims to bring together those who want to improve public transport for disabled people.

The DfT is calling on charities, transport operators and commercial organisations to join the campaign and raise awareness of the needs of disabled travellers and share some of the improvements being made to make public transport.

Operators of local bus services are likely to be required to have audio and visible information systems in their vehicles, and this funding is intended to help small operators who might find this costly to implement.

The department expects that this funding will benefit up to 30 small bus operators.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘It is unacceptable that people still feel they cannot travel by bus, because of a lack of basic route and destination information onboard local bus services.’

‘This partnership is the next step in ensuring that passengers have the information they need to travel confidently on local bus services.’

James Taylor, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at disability equality charity Scope, said: ‘Providing audible and visible information on buses will make a huge difference for disabled passengers.’

‘However using public transport is still far too difficult and stressful for disabled people, due to problems such as inaccessible vehicles and other passengers’ negative attitudes.’

‘Not all impairments are visible, so this campaign is an important reminder for all of us to be more considerate of fellow passengers.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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