Help me make a difference with Talking Buses!

I am a guide dog owner living in Merseyside with my sixth guide dog, Elkie. I am a regular local bus user, the service is currently provided by Arriva Buses who sadly do not currently use the audio-visual next and final stop announcements on their buses.

Being completely blind, I am unable to tell my current location visually by passing landmarks, so I rely on the driver or passengers to inform me when I reach my required bus stop.

I have had some horrific and confidence-effecting journeys where, due to the driver being busy or simply forgetting, my bus stop was not announced, so I have ended up sometimes up to a mile past my destination. I would then have to deal with an area with which I am totally unfamiliar, often having to cross busy roads to reach my return bus stop.

Big 5 ImageTalking Buses, or audio visual (AV), would solve all my issues, as the bus would automatically announce each stop, taking away my reliance on other people remembering to tell me. I would feel so much more confident and independent if this system was on all my local buses.

I have signed the Guide Dogs petition asking ‘the big 5’ bus operators (this includes Arriva) to install AV on board all of their new buses. These operators run 67 per cent of bus services in England, as well as many of those used in Wales and Scotland, so getting them on board would make a huge difference. I have encouraged all my friends and family to sign the petition too. I cannot express deeply enough how such a simple modification would make such a difference to so many sight impaired people like me.

I intend to continue campaigning for Talking Buses, as I am extremely passionate about this subject. Please join me by signing the petition too!


Ma ine, 2:00pm Fri 3 Apr 2015:

I'm totally blind guide dog user and use busses first my local bus they have no audio announcement at all I've mist stops . Drivers forget where I live not many bus so there full I have no sight

Bob, 4:13pm Fri 20 Mar 2015:

In this day and age it should be compulsory for all public transport operators to have this

linda, 8:17am Fri 20 Mar 2015:

Needs to be done!

Emma, 6:39am Fri 20 Mar 2015:

Make this happen!

Diane , 6:19am Fri 20 Mar 2015:

This would give so many people so much more independence.

Tracey, 2:56am Fri 20 Mar 2015:

I have an interest in all buses being audio

Sharon, 11:41pm Thu 19 Mar 2015:

It's important that everyone is given the best opportunity to live an independent life. Equality is very important.

Sue , 11:10pm Thu 19 Mar 2015:

its sad that most are oblivious or unable to conceive how difficult it would be for them to negotiate a journey with little or NO vision. Such a small thing could be so very useful to a lot more people than one would think!

corinne, 10:08pm Thu 19 Mar 2015:

This is so obvious

Elizabeth, 10:06pm Thu 19 Mar 2015:

as a visually impaired person I can't express enough how important this campaign is. It would also be very beneficial to tourists who don't know where they are going.

Margaret, 9:48pm Thu 19 Mar 2015:

Please listen to what real people need to lead an independent life. One small change can make such a difference.

Karen, 9:47pm Thu 19 Mar 2015:

Good luck with the campaign, liked and shared.

Alex, 9:19pm Thu 19 Mar 2015:

I support talking buses

Sam, 9:12pm Thu 19 Mar 2015:

this would make a huge difference to people's lives... And such a simple thing to achieve

Mary, 9:03pm Thu 19 Mar 2015:

my husband has just been matched with his guide dog it's only when you with someone who has this problem do you realise how BIG a disability it is .Please make your buses talking buses

Zoe, 8:43pm Thu 19 Mar 2015:

I'm surprised to hear that Arriva in somewhere like Merseyside don't use AV systems. The one Arriva route local to me (Oxford - Aylesbury) uses a handful of 'Sapphire' buses which have AV systems and plug sockets.

Melloney, 8:42pm Thu 19 Mar 2015:

We have talking buses here run by Trent Barton, they are brilliant

Victoria, 8:40pm Thu 19 Mar 2015:

very simple to implement should be on every bus!

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Jess And Elkie

This week's blog is written by local campaigner Jess, pictured here with her guide dog Elkie

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