Arriva signs up to RNIB’s Bus Charter to improve travel for blind and partially sighted passengers

29 March 2017  •  Author(s): Eurotransport

Arriva UK Bus has announced that it has signed up to the RNIB’s (Royal National Institute of Blind People) Bus Charter to ensure services are accessible for customers with sight loss.

RNIB’s Bus Charter outlines 13 commitments that Arriva need to make to improve bus travel for passengers. To mark this occasion a ‘Swap with Me’ event was recently held at the Arriva bus garage in Durham where Arriva North East and Yorkshire drivers and managers swapped places with blind and partially sighted campaigners to learn from each other’s experiences.

The drivers were invited to wear simulation spectacles, which simulate three of the most common sight conditions: age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and retinitis pigmentosa. They were then assisted by RNIB campaigners to board and navigate their way around a bus. The campaigners also had the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat and experience what it’s like to communicate with passengers through the driver’s screen.

“We are delighted to sign RNIB’s Bus Charter, ensuring accessibility and ease of travel for all passengers are high on our agenda,” said Nick Knox, Area Managing Director of Arriva North East. “We hope the signing of this Charter and the phased roll-out not just in the North East, but nationally, shows how serious we are about making travel easier for all passengers.”

Francesca Di Giorgio, RNIB Regional Campaigns Officer for the North East, said: “Blind and partially sighted people rely on bus services to get to work, visit friends and family, and be part of the community. Buses are a vital lifeline bringing independence to many people with sight loss.”

Adrian White, Head of Transport and Contract Services for Durham County Council said: “The accessibility of public transport is essential to people living with sight loss, giving both independence and a sense of being part of the community. I congratulate RNIB and Arriva on their continued work on inclusion and their commitment to make travel easier for all.”

With this announcement from Arriva and the recent news that Go-Ahead have also joined, it means that the UK’s five main bus operators have all now pledged their commitment to the Charter.

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