What have we done so far?

bus stop

  • 'February 2015: 'The big 5' petition is launched. This petition calls upon 'the big 5' bus operators who operate most of the buses in England, Wales and Scotland, to make all their new buses Talking Buses. Sign it online now!
  • October 2014: Baroness Kramer, the Bus Minister, launched a new competition to create cheaper audio visual announcement technology. Read more.
  • October 2014: The talking buses petition was delivered to 10 Downing Street. It had been signed by nearly 10,000 people.
  • October 2014: We submitted a response to the Treasury's autumn statement consultation, requesting a fund to support the installation of audio visual technology.
  • October 2014: We released our annual bus passenger report, 'Destination Unknown'. The report was based on a survey of over 2000 people and revealed how important audio visual announcements on board buses are for all passengers.
  • September 2014: The 'stand out bus' toured the UK, raising awareness of Guide Dogs and the Talking Buses campaign. The bus carried a roving petition on the issue of talking buses.
  • September 2014: Talking Buses was the theme for our Party Conference activity in 2014. We invited MPs at the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Party Conferences to play our memory game and find out how hard it is for a bus driver to remember all the stops their passengers requested. Without audio visual announcements it is left to a driver to remember and announce stops their passengers require, and as the MPs discovered, this can be quite challenging!
  • 22 July 2014: the Campaigns team The Campaigns Team Guide Dog Puppy Kramer And His Puppy Walkervisited the office of the Bus Minister, Baroness Kramer, to wish her happy birthday and raise her awareness of our Talking Buses campaign. We delivered a giant birthday card signed by almost 1000 people and guide dog puppy, Kramer, who was named in honour of the Bus Minister. You can read the news story here.
  • 2 July 2014: Guide Dogs hosted a Parliamentary Reception in the House of Commons, which was attended by more than 150 MPs and Peers. During her speech, Bus Minister, Baroness Kramer, outlined a new initiative by the Department of Transport which they hope will encourage the development of a cheaper AV system, making it even easier for buses companies to embrace.
  • 10 January 2014: 20 MPs spoke out in favour of audio visual (AV) technology on buses at a well-attended debate in Westminster Hall. They highlighted how AV would benefit all passengers, not just those with sight loss, showing their support for the Talking Buses campaign.
  • September 2013: the Transport Select Committee issued its ‘Access to transport for disabled people’ report in which is recommended:
    “The Accessibility Action Plan should require a phased introduction of buses with audio-visual information systems over the next ten years. The Department for Transport (DfT) should therefore require new buses to have audio-visual systems in place.”
  • June 2013: a survey of over 2,000 UK adults by YouGov showed that 84% of UK motorists whose local buses are already “talking buses” find them helpful when going somewhere they are unfamiliar with.
  • April 2013: we released our ‘Road to Nowhere’ report which powerfully showed the shocking levels of isolation experienced by blind and partially sighted bus passengers who lack the confidence to use a bus. You can read more about this by downloading the report (PDF 1,459kb) or (Word 58kb). An executive summary specifically for Northern Ireland is also available (Word 41kb)
  • March 2013: Guide Dogs Chief Executive, Richard Leaman, gave oral evidence to the Transport Select Committee for their inquiry into accessibility of transport.
  • December 2012: the Government’s Accessibility Action Plan was released and promised to look at the cost of introducing audio visual technology on buses.

    Newport Transport became the first bus operator in Wales to commit to fitting all new buses with audio visual technology.
  • July 2012: We delivered a giant, singing birthday card to Bus Minister at the time, Norman Baker, to celebrate his big day and remind him of the support for our Talking Buses campaign. You can watch a video of our very own Campaign Hound delivering the card.
  • July 2012: a new report commissioned by Guide Dogs, conducted by leading passenger transport experts TAS, showed that the cost of audio-visual (AV) systems have fallen dramatically, and all remaining buses in the UK could be converted for substantially less money than previous government estimates.
  • 23 March 2012: The DfT announced the winning bids for its Better Bus Area Fund. Amongst the winners was funding to assist the introduction of more than 1,000 additional talking buses across England. This great news followed hard work by the Guide Dogs campaigns team who contacted bus operators and local councils across England to encourage them to include AV provision within their bids.
  • March 2012: Headway – the brain injury association – added its support to our Talking Buses campaign. A full list of organisations backing campaign is available online.
  • January 2012: our ‘Forgotten Passengers’ report was released. The report showed nearly nine out of ten passengers (87%) with sight loss who took part in the survey had missed their stop because they didn’t know where they were on a bus journey.


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guide dog owner with guide dog walking down bus aisle reflected in bus mirror frame