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Guide Dogs calls for the government and industry to get on board with talking buses

18 Mar 2015

Talking Buses 450X300

In today’s (Wednesday 18 March) budget the Government made a commitment on Talking Buses, pledging to work with the Transport System Catapult and industry to make bus travel accessible to blind and deaf users.

Guide Dogs is campaigning for all new buses to be fitted with audio-visual technology, to enable people living with sight loss to use buses safely and with confidence.

James White, Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs said:

“This commitment from the Government is a welcome recognition of how important talking buses are to people with sight loss and others. However, we need the Government to go further and give a deadline for when all new buses will be talking buses.

“Much of the bus network is not fit for purpose for passengers living with sight loss. Too many people are still struggling to use the network and travelling with uncertainty, because technology that provides next stop and final destination information hasn’t been installed in their area.

“Buses are not currently accessible to people with sight loss as nearly two thirds of passengers with sight loss have missed their stop in the last six months.

For someone who is blind or partially sighted, missing their bus stop can be a truly terrifying experience, and finding their way home when lost can be extremely dangerous. Technology that provides final destination and next stop information on buses is essential and will help millions of people use buses with renewed confidence.”

In October 2014, Guide Dogs released its Destination Unknown report, which was based on a survey of 2009 people, including 818 people living with sight loss.  

The report showed that:

  • Nearly two thirds (65%) of blind and partially sighted passengers, who responded to the survey, have missed their stop at least once in the past six months.
  • 73% of bus users who responded to Guide Dogs’ survey said none of their local services had on board AV announcements.
  • Only 14% of people with a disability who responded to the survey said a bus driver always responds appropriately to their needs as a disabled passenger.

Read more about our current petition to bus companies.

For more information contact the Guide Dogs press office.

You can read the Destination Unknown report in Word 49kb

You can read the Destination Unknown report PDF.  920kb



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Red Double Decker Bus
Two thirds (65%) of blind and partially sighted bus passengers have missed their stop in the last six months.