A NEW campaign has been launched to get audio and visual information on board all buses and coaches.
National charity Guide Dogs say “talking buses” that give clear audible and visible announcements about the next stop and final destination will help disabled and elderly people to use buses and coaches safely and with confidence.
The charity’s campaigns manager, David Cowdrey, said: “The law requires new trains and trams to have audio-visual (AV) information systems – but not buses and coaches.
“The lack of information on board makes bus travel less accessible than rail travel. It's time for the bus to catch up!
“Lack of AV information undermines the independence of many people who rely on bus services to get around.”
Guide Dogs’ research into disabled people’s views and experiences of bus travel shows they often feel anxious and vulnerable, and depend on others to find the right stop.
Many give up using buses altogether.
One partially-sighted woman, who was interviewed by Guide Dogs, said: “I have to ask the driver to tell me when to get off and they don't always remember.
“A bus should give me my independence, not take it away. Please introduce ‘talking buses’ so we all know where we are.”
A Merseytravel spokesperson said: “We would dearly like to be involved in such a project, but there is the issue of funding. We are, however, monitoring the progress of this project with great interest.”
Guide Dogs wants people to contact their local MP, asking them to sign Early Day Motion 506 supporting the campaign, and to write to Sadiq Khan MP, the minister responsible for public transport. You can do this via the Guide Dogs website at www.guidedogs.org.uk/talkingbuses