It is hard to understand the difficulties faced by blind and partially sighted people face without having experienced them; things we take for granted can be very difficult, simply travelling from A to B for example.
‘Talking Buses’ is a campaign for audio-visual announcements on buses across the whole of the UK, to improve the accessibility of public transport and the way passengers get information about their journey, the next stop and final destination would be announced and displayed as the bus travels along its route. These announcements would greatly improve the lives of blind and partially sighted people and allow them to enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.
Last week Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Transport Minister, was presented with a talking birthday card by the Guide Dogs Campaigns Team, signed by over 600 supporters, asking for an extra special birthday present of Talking Buses across the whole of the UK this year.
I myself would like to see a change in legislation to make ‘Talking Buses’ compulsory. I have already show my support for this campaign by hosting a parliamentary event in support of the ‘Talking Buses’ campaign and introducing an early day motion on the topic EDM 12 – ‘Talking Buses’ which states:
“That this House, acknowledging the role of accessible local bus services in the mobility of disabled people, recognises that the lack of audio visual information systems on buses makes those services difficult to use for many people; supports the Talking Buses campaign led by Guide Dogs and supported by 20 other national organisations; and calls on the Government to amend the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations to require audible and visual information systems on all new buses, which would announce next stop and final destination information.”
I urge anyone who wants to know more about the talking buses campaign to visit the Guide Dogs website at www.guidedogs.org.uk